Florida man portrayed himself as a model to solicite sexually explicit photos from underage girl in New Jersey
A Florida man who pretended to be a model in an effort to solicit a young girl in New Jersey to send him sexually explicit photos and videos has pleaded guilty to first-degree Manufacturing Child Sexual Abuse Materials, and second-degree Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Materials, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced on Wednesday.
Joseph Germain, 31, of Casselberry, Florida (Seminole County), is scheduled to be sentenced on May 13, and faces eight years in state prison, subject to New Jersey’s No Early Release Act, and will be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law, and remain subject to Parole Supervision for Life.
Brielle Police began an investigation after learning of what Germain was up to, in creating a fake online personality saying that his name was "Alex" from a company called “Elite Model Management,” and even gave out an email address email@example.com.
It was in 2017, that Brielle Police learned he contacted a minor living in the borough and offered her a $50,000 contract to make her a modeling portfolio.
When she agreed, Germain said he needed her to send him, electronically, several pictures and videos of herself -- in sexually explicit poses.
As their interactions moved forward, the girl became uncomfortable with what was going on and in sending the pictures and videos, because of her age.
He doubled down and demanded she sent him more files.
Germain even allegedly sent the girl fake screenshots from a woman that didn't exist named "Cassandra" who "promised," to send her the money, once her "portfolio", was finished.
She, of course, didn't receive any payment but did start getting texts from different phone numbers where people claiming to be with this “Elite Model Management,” company, threatened to post her photos and videos to the Internet if she didn't send any more explicit material.
All those texts were Germain pretending to be several fake people who worked at the fake company.
Acting Prosecutor Linskey said that, eventually, some of the videos did get posted online, which were done by Germain as well.
He was arrested in Florida in 2019, and then extradited to New Jersey for prosecution.
“This investigation left us strongly convinced of the very real possibility that there may be additional victims who have yet to come forward,” Acting Prosecutor Linskey said in a written statement. “To any remaining victims who may be out there, I would just say this: what was done to you wasn’t just wrong, deceitful, and cruel – it was criminal. We urge you to come forward and speak with us and offer the assurance that you will be treated with the utmost dignity and respect. We need your assistance to ensure that justice is served.”
If you or someone you know was a victim of a similar or identical scam, you can contact Detective Ryan Maxsiell of the Brielle Police Department at 848-232-5016, or the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Bureau at 732-431-7160, extension 7731.
The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Cummings of the MCPO Special Victims Bureau.
Germain is represented by Tara Breslow-Testa, Esq., with offices in Freehold and Red Bank.