Acting Gloucester County Prosecutor Christine A. Hoffman announced that Justin J. Hargrave, age 42, of Glassboro, NJ, was arrested on September 11, 2020 and charged with one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (2nd Degree)
The Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office (GCPO) High Technology Crimes Unit worked jointly with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Philadelphia Human Trafficking & Child Exploitation Task Force in an 18-month investigation involving the exploitation of children on the Internet.
During this time, an investigation into websites selling materials related to child sexual abuse led to the identification of Hargrave as a purchaser of this material.
On Friday, September 11, 2020, detectives from the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, FBI, and the Glassboro Police Department executed a search warrant at his residence.
Evidence was recovered at the scene which depicted child sexual abuse.
Hargrave was transported to the Glassboro Police Department, where he was arrested on a complaint charging him with Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Hargrave was released pending an initial court appearance.
Prosecutor Hoffman makes note that “Detectives from the GCPO High-Tech Crimes Unit worked seamlessly with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Philadelphia Human Trafficking & Child Exploitation Task Force, the New Jersey State Police New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the Glassboro Police Department. This solid synergy among law enforcement partners at all levels of government brings a broad spectrum of technical and investigative expertise into play which operates seamlessly across jurisdictions and geography.”
Acting Prosecutor Hoffman wants to emphasize to the public that the dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic have created unfortunate circumstances where abused children have been at home more often with their abusers, and without beneficial contact with mandatory reporters of signs and indications of abuse, such as teachers, counselors, school nurses and social service providers.
Additionally, parents are reminded that increased time at home has resulted in children having more time to spend on-line accessing various social media applications, chat rooms, and gaming platforms which can be exploited by those seeking to establish inappropriate contact with and to harm children. Hoffman stresses “The Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office High Technology Crimes Unit remains vigilant with its mission, prioritizing the protection of vulnerable youth by relentlessly identifying, arresting and prosecuting sexual predators.”
If you believe you’ve seen a missing child or to report child sexual exploitation., contact your local law enforcement agency or call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) 24-hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or online at The Cyber Tip Line.org.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of their rights as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State Law.