A former school custodian from Union County is heading to federal prison after admitting he drove to upstate New York after planning on having sex with a 13-year-old girl, federal authorities in New York said.
As part of his guilty plea, Recep Sandikci, 46, of North Plainfield, said Friday he sent the girl sexually explicit images over a cell phone app in the days leading up to his drive to Albany on Aug. 6, 2019, Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon and FBI Special Agent in charge of the Albany field officer Thomas F. Relford said.
Sandikci was arrested by the FBI just after his arrival in New York, and prior to meeting the girl, Relford and Bacon said.
He and the girl had been talking over Google Hangouts before her mom found the messages, and contacted police, according to court documents. An investigator assumed the teen's identity and agreed to a meeting with Sandikci, court papers show.
Sandikci was a custodian at Salt Brook Elementary School in New Providence at the time of his arrest, TapInto.net reports.
A sentencing before U.S. District Judge Mae D. Agostino is scheduled for Jan. 25, 2021. Sandikci could face up to 30 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of at least 5 years and up to life.
The case was investigated by the FBI and its Child Exploitation Task Force, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily C. Powers.
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