A janitor at a Staten Island hospital tried to meet up with a 14-year-old girl he was grooming online, saying he looked forward to taking her virginity, prosecutors said.
John Emilio, 43, pleaded guilty to attempted endangering the welfare of children on Dec. 23 in exchange for a three-year sentence in New Jersey state prison, the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office said Monday.
“During the investigation, Emilio initiated contact and sent nude pictures of his genitals, said he was very excited that he would be having sex with a girl so young, and looked forward to taking her virginity,” prosecutors said in a statement.
But Emilio — who was working at an unidentified Staten Island hospital at the time — was actually communicating with a detective from the office’s High-Tech Crimes Unit, prosecutors said.
The janitor became a suspect in November 2019 during a “proactive investigation” into child exploitation online. A subsequent probe revealed that he discussed traveling to Burlington County to have sex with the young teen either at a motel along Route 130 or inside his vehicle, prosecutors said.
But the illicit planned meetup never happened and Emilio was arrested at his Wooley Avenue home in Staten Island in February 2020. As part of a plea deal, he’s set to receive a three-year prison sentence on March 24, Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said.
The hospital where Emilio worked at the time of his arrest was not identified Monday. A message seeking additional comment from Coffina’s office was not immediately returned.
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