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Man Charged In Sex Assault Of Underage 'Roulette' Chat Girl

The Indiana man drove 10 hours to Mahwah to meet up with the 15-year-old girl he met on the random chat site 'Omegle,' police say

An Indiana man drove more than 10 hours to Mahwah to have sexual relations with a 15-year-old township girl he met on a "Roulette-style" chat site, Police Chief Jim Batelli said Wednesday afternoon.

Joshua Elkins, 28, of Fort Wayne, is currently in an Indiana state prison after being charged with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of endangering the welfare of a minor, Batelli said. Elkins was arrested on Tuesday.

According to police, Elkins started talking to the minor last year on “Omegle,” an online chat site where users anonymously talk to strangers in one-on-one text or video chats. From there, the two exchanged phone numbers and started communicating via phone, police said.

In December, Elkins allegedly arranged a meeting and drove the 10 hours from Indiana to Mahwah, and sexually assaulted the girl in both her Mahwah home and in a Paramus hotel, Batelli said.

One of Elkins’s acquaintances tipped off Mahwah Police to the incident in an anonymous email on Jan. 24.

Mahwah juvenile detective Guido Businelli led an investigation into the incident that involved the Paramus Police, and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes Unit.

Elkins, who has at least one prior conviction for sexual misconduct with a minor, was arrested in Indiana, Batelli said.

According to police, the investigation into forensic evidence is ongoing, and additional charges are pending.

Batelli said chat sites like Omegle are “especially concerning to law enforcement because of the anonymity, difficulty in tracking users, and the propensity of sexual offenders who utilize them.”

He added, “this incident should encourage all parents to have open and frank dialogue with their children about the use of the internet and also the potential danger of [anonymous] chat rooms.”

Submit your questions or news tips to jessica.mazzola@patch.com. And, remember to sign up for Patch's daily newsletter, and get updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Concerned4Society February 03, 2013 at 05:53 PM
Pedophiles are desperate people...look at how far this guy traveled. However, I believe this was considered rape only because the girl was underage. In other words, I believe she was a willing participant. It doesn't change it, though...the guy is a pedophile and should be locked away for life...there is no "cure" for pedophilia and, if released, he will do the same thing over and over again. Apparently, the girl's parents were not monitoring her on-line activities, otherwise this never would have happened. Wake up, parents!
PascackGuy February 04, 2013 at 02:39 AM
While this man is in the wrong for having sex with a minor, she knew perfectly well what she was doing. What will be her punishment by law enforcers? If she stole an object from a store, she'd be guilty of theft and charged with a crime. Why isn't what she did with this man considered a crime on her part as well as his?
Andy Schmidt February 04, 2013 at 01:23 PM
Due to teenage brain and hormonal development, their ability to weigh known risks against perceived benefits has not reached the same level as maturity as their bodies - which is why young teens tend to engage in risky behavior despite being educated quite well about all the "facts". Studies suggest, it takes until the 20s before the brain catches up with the body. (Thinking back, it certainly was true for to me. Today I'm glad that I made it to 25 without hurting myself or someone else!) That's why it is criminal for an adult (or any other person of influence, such as teachers, coaches, camp counsellors) to take advantage of this "dis"ability, because the underlying assumption is that a young teen is yet UNCAPABLE to actually give "consent" - even if those are the words coming out their mouths.
SHSB February 04, 2013 at 04:44 PM
Way to blame the victim. She is not of legal age to give consent. That's why it's a crime for the adult and not the minor.

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