Joshua Padilla, 34, pleaded guilty Monday, March 29, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who prosecuted the case, announced in this press release.
He pleaded guilty to unlawful contact with a minor.
According to the Pennsylvania Attorney General, Padilla is accused of having unlawful sexual contact with a 17-year-old girl in Northampton County, PA sometime in April or May 2018. The teen girl was first contacted over the Internet by Padilla on a website called adultfriendfinder.com.
Padilla recorded the encounter with his cell phone, and uploaded the video depicting sex acts online, where it was viewed and shared by other adults, said the AG.
A year later, in 2019 agents with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Child Predator Section were tipped off about this and they launched a sting operation, whereby undercover agents contacted Padilla via social media and text messaging.
An undercover agent told Padilla they were 14 years old.
“(Padilla) said he wanted to meet with the purported child, used sexually explicit language, sent the agent two pictures of his genitals and asked for photos of the purported 14-year-old girl,” read the release.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office helped with the extradition of Padilla to Pennsylvania.
When he was first charged, Padilla was employed as a Sheriff’s Deputy in Middlesex County, New Jersey. He no longer works there.
“Padilla’s crimes betray the hard work of the men and women in law enforcement,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “We have zero tolerance in my office for child predators. Enforcing the law does not put you above the law.”
Padilla has also been charged with child pornography charges. Those charges in federal court are still pending.
Original Patch report on Padilla: NJ Sheriff’s Deputy Sexually Abused Girl And Made Video, AG Says (Feb. 2019)
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