WOODBRIDGE — A township man has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl and posting photos of her on the internet, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan and Robert Hubner, director of the Woodbridge Police Department, announced today.
Keith Bell, 21, was arrested on Feb. 28, 2013 and charged with aggravated sexual assault, two counts of sexual assault, two counts of endangering the welfare of the child, one count of causing a prohibited sexual act, and child pornography.
In addition, he was charged with theft by extortion after allegedly telling his victim he would not post explicit photos of her on the internet if she gave him an undisclosed amount of cash.
Bell is being held at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in North Brunswick, waiting for bail to be set.
An investigation by Detective Brian McMillen and Capt. Robert Brady, both of the Woodbridge Police Department, and Investigator Karleen Duca of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office began when another 12-year-old girl saw the photos of the victim and contacted authorities.
The investigation showed that the defendant sent the explicit pictures of the 12-year-old girl to the 12-year-old girl who called authorities.
Police allege that on various occasions between Jan. 23 and Feb. 26, Bell sexually assaulted the victim and convinced her to take sexually explicit photos of herself and send them to him.
The investigation is active and continuing. Authorities are asking anyone with information to call Detective McMillen of the Woodbridge Police Department at 1-732-602-7308, or Investigator Duca of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-732-745-4452.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, Bell is presumed innocent until proven guilty.