A 68-year-old Monmouth County man who lured an out-of-state girl to his home after posing as a young boy was sentenced Monday to a plea-bargained seven years in federal prison for getting her to send him pornographic images of herself.
Local authorities had removed the child from the Union Beach home of Herman Christopher Jensen when the FBI began investigating his online activities.
They soon learned that Jensen had assumed the identity of a 17-year-old boy named Kevin Bennett on Facebook “in order to entice and solicit [the girl] to send nude and sexually explicit images over the internet,” Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig said.
Jensen lured the victim into a romantic relationship over the course of several months, then requested nude and semi-nude photographs from her via Messenger, Honig said.
The victim obliged and, before long, Jensen was receiving “increasingly explicit videos,” she said.
After telling the truth, Jensen continued communicating with the victim through his own Facebook page, the U.S. attorney said.
The victim traveled to New Jersey to live with Jensen in December 2018, she said.
Rather than face a stiffer sentence had he been convicted in a trial, Jensen struck a deal with federal prosecutors and sought leniency by pleading guilty in U.S. District Court in Trenton to possession of child pornography this past August.
Jensen will have to serve just about all of the 87 months because there's no parole in the federal prison system.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan sentenced Jensen to lifetime supervised release. He'll also have to register as a Megan's Law offender.
Honig credited special agents and task force officers of the FBI and its Red Bank Resident Agency Jersey Shore Gang and Criminal Organization Task Force with the investigation leading to the plea and sentence, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Perry Farhat of her Government Frauds Unit in Newark.
She also thanked Union Beach police for their assistance.
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