In a move that clearly reflected the tough stand taken by the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office to combat predatory crimes online, the police arrested a 42 year old man from Penn Station, Newark. The case was built over a period of several weeks and sends out a clear message that the police are on the lookout for perpetrators who are seeking underage targets online.
The accused, Darwin Fiallos, thought he was communicating with a 12 year old girl in Passaic County. However, the person on the other side of the screen was a detective from Plainfield, who was simply posing as the preteen victim. Although the operation was not specifically started to capture Fiallos, once he initiated contact with the undercover officer, his online behavior was actively tracked.
The defendant graphically described the sexual acts that he would perform on the preteen girl when they would meet, which will now be used as evidence of his intentions. Subsequently, Fiallos called the detective for a meeting at Penn Station from where he was picked up the detectives. The New Jersey Transit Police also assisted in the arrest.
Fiallos is now being held in the Passaic County Jail. The police have charged him with attempted sexual assault and attempted aggravated assault on a minor victim, luring and enticing an underage victim and willfully endangering a minor. The preliminary hearing is scheduled for August, 11th.
Similar operations have been launched in other parts of the country to control growing instances of crimes involving minor victims, who were lured in internet chat rooms and through social networks. Passaic County police have made it clear that they will continue to initiate such undercover operations to nab child molesters and abusers who are using the anonymity of the internet medium for their nefarious deeds.