MAYS LANDING –A Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty on Wednesday in connection to 2017 charges of child luring and endangering, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner announced.
Dean Leon, 51, pleaded guilty to child luring and endangering charges and must serve 10 years in New Jersey state prison subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA), which mandates that the defendant must serve 85% of the sentence.
“I want to thank the Somers Point Police Department for their efforts to protect our most vulnerable citizens, our children. As a community, we do not always fully appreciate the number of predators that are seeking to harm them. The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office is committed to ensuring their safety,” Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said.
Dean Leon, 48, of Enola, PA, was indicted in August 2017 on these charges:
- Second degree Attempt to Lure or Entice a Child by Various Means
- Third degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child- Sexual Conduct
- Third degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child- Possession of Child Pornography
- Third degree Distribution of Obscene Material to a Minor
- Fourth degree Criminal Sexual Contact
- First degree Endangering-Permit a Child to Engage in Pornography
Leon was arrested on March 31, 2017, by the Somers Point Police Department and charged with Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact and Possession of Child Pornography, regarding a 14-year-old female victim. Leon set up an arrangement online to meet the underage girl with the intention of starting a relationship.
On March 31, 2017, the Somers Point Police department was notified that a man who was engaging in an online relationship with a child was en route from Pennsylvania to arrange a physical meeting for the purpose of sexual contact. Shortly after receiving this information detectives learned that Leon was actively communicating with the victim via cell phone and was going to meet her at the Somers Point Library.
With this information the detectives then set up to approach Leon upon his arrival to the library. When Leon arrived he was quickly taken into custody without incident and was initially charged with Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact and Possession of Child Pornography.
Detectives from the Somers Point Police Department, assisted by the Computer Crimes Unit of the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, conducted further investigation and discovered numerous sexually explicit images and videos of the victim and others on Leon’s phone and through his social media accounts.
The defendant remains detained at the Atlantic County Justice Facility.
The state is represented by Assistant Prosecutor David Ruffenach in the matter.
Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at http://www.acpo.org/tips.html and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at http://www.crimestoppersatlantic.com/. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.