FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ – A California man has been arrested after police say he flew to New Jersey to have sex with a 14-year-old girl after the two established a relationship online, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.
Justin R. Ganutan, 22, of Greyhouse Lane, Stockton, CA is charged with 2nd degree Sexual Assault and 3rd degree Endangering the Welfare of a Minor, according to Robertson, who provided the following account:
The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Computer Crimes Unit received a Cybertipline report on Jan. 4 indicating that the suspect was having an online relationship with a female minor and traveled from California to New Jersey to meet with her.
The child was identified as a 14-year-old Somerset County female who was interviewed by a detective from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit.
The 14-year-old said she engaged in sexual intercourse with Ganutan on two occasions in Franklin Township during a trip he took from California in December 2020 to meet the girl.
Detectives assigned to the investigation traveled to Stockton, and on Feb. 17, 2021 Ganutan was apprehended without incident by members of the Alameda County SAFE Task Force (Sex and Felony Enforcement Team), Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Transit Crimes Unit and the Stockton (California) Police Department.
Ganutan is lodged in the San Joaquin County Jail where he will remain pending extradition proceedings.
Robertson requests that anyone with information contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office at (908) 231-7100 or the Franklin Township Police Department at (732) 873-5533 or via the STOPit app. The STOPit app allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos.
STOPit can be downloaded to your smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ. Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous STOPit reports and Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.
Note: We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.