Shore man pretended he was 17 to lure, sexually assault two 13-year-old girls

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SEA BRIGHT, NJ  — The man smiling here is 27-year-old Nathan Cohen of Eatontown. Cohen was smiling because in his mind he did a good thing.  He told two 13-year-old girls that he was 17-years-old in order to lure them into his car to sexually assault them.  What Cohen didn’t know at the time is that he’s now facing up to twenty-five years in prison for what he did.

Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said Cohen was picked up in Sea Bright after a vigilant police officer there noticed his car parked and running at the end of a dead-end street.  It’s a good thing for those two girls that the officer came by when he did because Cohen didn’t want to just watch TikTok videos with the children that night.

Cohen has been charged with first-degree kidnapping, second-degree child luring, third-degree endangering the welfare of a child, third-degree possession of child pornography, and third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact. The charges stem from an incident that occurred during the early morning hours of Monday, February 15th when Sea Bright Police located a running vehicle parked on a dead-end street in the Borough.

“A Sea Bright officer then witnessed Cohen in the back seat of his vehicle with his arms around the two juvenile victims,” Gramiccioni said. “Further investigation revealed that Cohen represented himself to be a 17-year-old boy to the minors and exchanged sexually explicit images and videos with them, and arranging to see the victims in person.”

This case was jointly investigated by members of the Sea Bright Police Department and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victim’s Bureau.

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Cohen was taken into custody immediately at the scene and was later transported to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold Township pending a detention hearing.

“If convicted, the defendant is facing up to life imprisonment on the kidnapping charge, up to ten years imprisonment on the child luring charge, and up to 5 years imprisonment on the endangering the welfare of a child, aggravated criminal sexual contact and possession of child pornography charges respectively. In addition, he would be subject to parole supervision for life and required to register under Megan’s Law,” Gramiccioni added.

Investigators are seeking additional information about Cohen’s activities. Anyone with any information please contact Detective Michelle Tucker of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victim’s Bureau at 800-533-7443 or Sea Bright Police Department Detective Sergeant Richard Huegel at 732-842-0010.

Anyone who feels the need to remain anonymous, but who has information about a crime can submit a tip to Monmouth County Crime Stoppers by calling their confidential telephone tipline at 1-800-671-4400; by downloading and using the free P3 Tips mobile app (available on iOS and Android – https://www.p3tips.com/1182), by calling 800-671-4400 or by going to their website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com.

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendants have all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.

The case is assigned to Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Ryan Lavender of the Office’s Special Victims Bureau.