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Somerset Daily Voice serves Bernardsville, Bridgewater Township, Franklin Township, Hillsborough Township, Manville, Montgomery Township, North Plainfield, Raritan, Somerville & Watchung

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Feds: Somerset Man, 44, Flew To Philippines For Online-Planned Sex With Minors

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Fly Photo Credit: Pixabay

A Somerset County man flew to the Philipines several times to have sex with four underage victims after arranging meetings online, said federal authorities who arrested him.

James A. Diggs, 44, of Somerville, had his first appearance Wednesday before a U.S. magistrate judge on charges of online enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity and foreign travel to engage in criminal sexual activity, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.

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, Carpenito said.

“Diggs used an online messaging application to entice and coerce three other minor victims in the Philippines to engage in unlawful sex acts,” the U.S. attorney said.

Diggs traveled there out of JFK Airport in Queens at least seven times over four years, Carpenito added.

Carpenito credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigation with the investigation leading to the charges.

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

Handling the case for the government is Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Astorga of Carpenito’s Opioid Abuse Prevention and Enforcement Unit in Newark.

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