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Middlesex Daily Voice serves Edison, New Brunswick, North / South / East Brunswick, Old Bridge, Perth Amboy, Piscataway, Sayreville & Woodbridge

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News

Undercover Pedophile Sting: Ex-NJ Sheriff's Deputy Admits Seeking Sex With 14-Year-Old 'Child'

Josh Padilla
Josh Padilla Photo Credit: PENNSYLVANIA ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE

A former Middlesex County sheriff’s deputy admitted trying to have sex with what he thought was a 14-year-old Pennsylvania child who turned out to be an undercover detective, authorities said.

Joshua Padilla, 35, of Eatontown, sent photos of his genitals, then asked for similar photos in exchange from what he thought was an underage child, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.

Padilla told a state judge in Pennsylvania on Monday that he tried to have sex with the purported youngster.

He was arrested by state authorities, instead, with assistance from the Monmouth County, NJ Prosecutor’s Office and Pennsylvania State Police in February 2019, Shapiro said.

Padilla  was later extradited to Pennsylvania and, rather than go to trial, accepted a plea deal secured by Deputy Attorney General Michelle Laucella.

He still faces federal charges of producing and distributing child pornography through video that a grand jury said Padilla recorded while having sex with a 17-year-old girl in Northampton County, Shapiro noted.

Padilla had met the girl on adultfriendfinder.com and was soon outed by a tipster, authorities said at the time.

“Padilla’s crimes betray the hard work of the men and women in law enforcement, and undermine the trust placed in him by his community,” Shapiro said. “Enforcing the law does not put you above the law.”

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