NEWARK, N.J. – A British citizen was charged today with attempted online enticement of a minor and travel with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Stephen Hudson, 51, of Ealing, England, is charged by complaint with one count of attempted online enticement of a minor and one count of travel with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. He appeared by videoconference today before U.S. Magistrate Judge José R. Almonte in Newark federal court and was detained.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From April 14, 2022, to May 6, 2022, Hudson used an encrypted email account to communicate with federal law enforcement, acting in an undercover capacity, to facilitate his access to and sexual abuse of two minor female children. Hudson agreed to travel from Massachusetts to New Jersey and pay approximately $1,200 in cash in exchange for, among other things: 1) engaging in sexual acts with 11- and 12-year-old girls; 2) supplying Hudson with illicit drugs; and 3) administering the illicit drugs and alcohol to the 11- and 12-year-old girls. On May 6, 2022, Hudson traveled to an agreed-upon location in New Jersey for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with the two minors and provided approximately $1,200 in cash to the undercover law enforcement agents as previously agreed. After providing the cash to law enforcement, Hudson was arrested.
The charge of attempted online enticement of a minor carries a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison, a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, and a maximum fine of $250,000. The charge of interstate travel with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct carries a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina, and members of the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan, with the investigation leading to today’s charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Camila A. Garces of the General Crimes Unit in Newark.
The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.