PHILADELPHIA, PA – A New Jersey Sheriff’s deputy has been charged after he allegedly had sex with a Pennsylvania teen and then posted a video of the encounter online, Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.
Joshua Padilla, 33, of Eatontown, NJ was arrested Friday. According to information from the Attorney General, Padilla had sex with a 17-year-old girl in Northampton County and then posted the video of the incident. Soon after, he sought additional sexual contact from an undercover law enforcement agent posing as a 14-year-old girl, authorities said.
He is employed as a Sheriff’s Deputy in Middlesex County, NJ.
The investigation began last month, after agents with the Attorney General’s Child Predator Section received a tip from the Pennsylvania State Police that a man, later identified as Padilla, had sexual contact with the teen sometime in April or May, 2018.
The victim was first contacted over the Internet by Padilla on a website called adultfriendfinder.com, the Attorney General said.
The victim was underage during the sexual encounter, and Padilla was aware of her age. Padilla recorded the encounter with his cell phone, and uploaded the video depicting sex acts onto the same website, where it was viewed and shared by other users of the site.
In the course of their investigation, undercover agents with the Attorney General’s Child Predator Section had contact with the Padilla via social media and text messaging. Padilla, who thought that he was communicating with a 14-year-old child, said he wanted to meet and allegedly used sexually explicit language indicating he would perform sex acts on her. He also sent the agent two pictures of his genitals, and asked for photos of the purported 14-year-old girl, the Attorney General said.
Padilla is charged with unlawful contact with a minor, obscene materials and other sexual performances, sexual abuse of children – manufacturing, disseminating and possessing child pornography, and related charges.
Padilla is currently in police custody in New Jersey, awaiting extradition to Northampton County, Pennsylvania – where the charges were filed on Friday.
“We have zero tolerance in my office for child predators – wherever we find them. It is particularly upsetting and egregious when the accused predator is a member of law enforcement, sworn to protect citizens and uphold the law,” Shapiro said in a statement.
Anyone with additional information for law enforcement about this case or about Padilla should contact PA’s Child Predator Section hotline at 1-800-385-1044