Investigators Looking for Assistance from Public to Locate More Victims
FREEHOLD, NJ — A 40-year-old Wall Township man has been arrested for asking who he thought was a 14-year-old boy for nude photos — but instead was an undercover police officer — through an online dating website, according to Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Kenneth Megill of Route 35 was charged with one count of third-degree attempted endangering the welfare of a child and one count of third-degree promoting obscenity to a minor. He is currently being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, Freehold, after his arrest on January 10.
Megill is alleged to have utilized an online dating platform to send sexually explicit messages and request nude photos from the undercover officer, who he believed was a male high school student, the prosecutor’s office said in a press release.
If convicted, Megill faces a maximum sentence of five years in state prison and would be subject to the provisions of Megan’s Law and parole supervision for life upon his release.
The charges are the result of an investigation by the Wall Police Department, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. This case is assigned to Assistant Prosecutors Stephanie Dugan and Ellyn Rajfer.
Investigators are seeking additional information about Megill’s activities and looking to identify other possible victims. Anyone with information is asked to contact Wall Police Detective Anthony Lacher at 732-449-4500, ext. 1186, or Detective Thomas Manzo of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-431-7160, ext. 3028.
Anyone who wishes to make an anonymous report can call the Monmouth County Crime Stoppers confidential tip-line at 1-800-671-4400. Tipsters can also text “MONMOUTH” and the tip to 274637 or they can email a tip via the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com.
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 the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.