Lakehurst man arrested for trying to arrange sex with a minor online
A Lakehurst man, who was arrested in May of 2019 for trying to arrange sex with a teen online, has been placed in handcuffs again for allegedly committing the same act.
Kevin Van Pelt, 29, was arrested on Tuesday morning on charges he induced a minor to send him sexually explicit images and to engage in sexually explicit conduct over an online messaging service, announced U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.
Van Pelt is charged by complaint with one count of online enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual conduct and one count of possession of child porn.
He appeared in Trenton Federal Court on Tuesday afternoon and was released on a $100,000 unsecured appearance bond.
Carpenito said that between August 2018 and October 2018, Van Pelt used several online messaging apps to communicate with the minor victim who he repeatedly asked for them to send him sexually explicit images.
He also had child sexual abuse images on his cell phone when he was arrested last year.
The charge of online enticement carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of life in prison, and a $250,000 fine.
The charge of possession of child pornography carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Van Pelt was arrested at home on May 1, 2019 with the assistance of Woolwich police and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.
He was at that time charged with luring, endangering the welfare of a child, and attempted sexual assault.
Van Pelt connected with the 14-year-old victim online, according to the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office.
They chatted on social media apps, Instagram and Snapchat, as he tried to arrange a meeting with the teen for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts, police said.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elisa T. Wiygul of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: Teri S. Lodge Esq., Marlton, New Jersey.
Previous reporting by Erin Vogt was used in this report.
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