Twenty-year-old Timothy E. French of Lawrenceville, Mercer County, was arrested Monday on charges that he engaged in sexual acts with a child who was between the ages of 13 and 16.
He was charged with sexual assault, a second degree crime, and endangering the welfare of children, a third degree crime.
The criminal acts occurred in Union Township, Hunterdon County.
The arrest was the result of a joint investigation conducted by detectives from the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and New Jersey Sate Police at the Perryville Station.
“The investigation revealed that Mr. French utilized social networking to contact his victim," said Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns, III, who announced the arrest in a news release Friday.
"The use of social media by predators is common in sexual assault cases against children. Parents are urged to closely monitor and supervise their children’s online activity and to immediately report anything suspicious to law enforcement authorities. ”
Bail for the defendant was set at $50,000 by Judge Stephen B. Rubin. French is in Hunterdon County Jail awaiting his first court appearance.
Kearns said the investigation is ongoing and anyone with additional information is requested to contact the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victim’s Unit at 908-788-1129.