Tried To Lure Teen, Got Cop Instead
A New Jersey man was charged last week for allegedly attempting to arrange a sexual liaison in Queens with a 14-yearold girl he met online-who turned out to be an undercover detective with the NYPD Vice Enforcement Division.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown identified the defendant as Dhirubhai H. Patel, 57, of Shrewsbury Court in Pennington, N.J., a suburb of Trenton. Patel was arraigned last Wednesday night, July 11, in Queens Criminal Court on charges of second-degree attempted rape, second-degree attempted criminal sexual act, first-degree attempted dissemination of indecent material to minors and attempted endangering the welfare of a child.
Patel, who faces up to four years in prison if convicted, was ordered held on $50,000 bail and to return to court on July 25.
“This case should once again serve as a reminder that sexual predators are cruising the Internet in search of vulnerable victims,” Brown said. “Parents must monitor their children’s online activities to ensure that they are not being lured into dangerous situations.”
According to the charges, an NYPD vice detective was operating in his undercover persona as a 14- year-old girl from Queens on multiple occasions between June 12 and July 5, during which time he received numerous instant message conversations from Patel, who used the screen name [email protected].
Patel’s messages were allegedly graphic and sexual in nature and included an invitation to meet for sexual activity in Queens.
He was arrested last Monday, July 9, when he appeared at a prearranged Queens location for what he allegedly believed would be a sexual encounter with the 14-year-old girl he had been instant messaging.
Brown expressed his appreciation to the Office of Mercer County, N.J. Prosecutor Joseph L. Bocchini, Jr., for its assistance and cooperation during the investigation.
The investigation and arrest were conducted by Det. Sean Ryan of the NYPD Major Case Squad, Vice Enforcement Division, under the supervision of Sgt. Robert Minca and Lt. Michael Costello, and the overall supervision of Deputy Inspector Anthony Favale, coordinator of Vice Enforcement, and Chief Anthony Izzo of the Organized Crime Control Bureau.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Kateri A. Gasper of the District Attorney’s Special Proceedings Bureau is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Robert D. Alexander, chief of the Computer Crimes Unit, and Assistant District Attorneys Anthony M. Communiello, bureau chief, and Oscar W. Ruiz, deputy bureau chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Peter A. Crusco and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Linda M. Cantoni.
It was noted that a criminal complaint is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.