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Somerset Man Admits Flying To Philippines For Sex With Minor

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the Newark Division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Homeland Security Investigations with the investigation.,
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the Newark Division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Homeland Security Investigations with the investigation., Photo Credit: morguefile.com/photos/seemann

A Somerset County man admitted that he flew to the Philippines to have sex with a minor he met online.

James A. Diggs, 45, of Somerville, went there several times to have sex with four underage victims after arranging meetings online, federal authorities had charged.

Rather than go to trial, Diggs took a deal from the government and pleaded guilty before a U.S. District Court judge in Trenton via teleconference Monday to traveling outside of the United States to engage in criminal sexual activity.

Diggs first used an online messaging app to “persuade, induce, entice, and coerce” the first victim to agree to have sex with him for money or gifts during what became an October 2018 visit to the Southeast Asian country, Acting U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Rachel A. Honig said.

He headed there out of JFK Airport in Queens at least seven times over four years, she said.

Honig credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigation with the investigation leading to the plea, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Astorga of Honig’s Opioid Abuse Prevention and Enforcement Unit in Newark.

She also thanked agents of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection at John F. Kennedy International Airport for their assistance.

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