A 72-year-old married retiree from Garfield was arrested at a local park when he tried to meet a pre-teen there following phone sex and texts, authorities said Wednesday.
Detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and Garfield police seized Angel Bernard at Dophine Park on Monday.
A judge in Hackensack released him with conditions less than 24 hours later, records show.
Investigators from the BCPO Special Victims and Cyber Crimes units were alerted by Garfield police, who’d discovered that Bernard was “communicating via smartphone text messaging and phone conversations” with a minor under 13 “that included sexual dialogue,” Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said.
During those conversations, Musella said, Bernard “attempted to make arrangements to meet the juvenile on several occasions in/around Garfield to engage in sexual activity.”
Bernard is charged with attempted aggravated sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, luring and attempted child endangerment.
Musella thanked Garfield police, as well as Lyndhurst police, who participate in the Bergen County Cyber Crimes Task Force.
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