A registered sex offender from Oklahoma was arrested Wednesday after he traveled to Atlantic City to sexually assault two girls, the state Attorney General’s Office said Friday.
Aaron Craiger, 33, planned to meet with two men who had offered him sex with two underage girls, the Attorney General’s Office said in a news release. Craiger had actually been in communication with two undercover detectives from the State Police and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations.
Craiger was arrested at a motel in the city where he had stayed overnight after traveling by bus from Oklahoma. He allegedly planned to meet the two men Wednesday, believing one man was bringing his 12-year-old daughter for sex and the second man was bringing his girlfriend’s 11-year-old daughter, the Attorney General’s Office said.
Craiger had condoms and a small amount of marijuana on him, which he said he wanted to smoke with the girls. In text exchanges with the undercover detectives, Craiger detailed the sexual acts he wanted to perform with the girls and sent them 10 files of child pornography. Child pornography was also found on his phone when he was arrested, the Attorney General’s Office said.
He is being held in the Atlantic County jail pending a hearing scheduled for Tuesday. He was charged with two counts of attempted sexual assault, distribution of child pornography, possession of child pornography, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, two counts of attempted distribution of marijuana and possession of marijuana.
“If the coronavirus can’t stop sex offenders from traveling to New Jersey to prey on children, we will,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “With the number of children who are home from school and accessing the internet due to the pandemic, it’s critical that parents talk to their children about the dangers of social media and warn them that there are predators like Craiger lurking online who are willing to go to very great lengths to locate and reach victims. Had we not arrested Craiger, the allegations indicate he would likely have continued to seek underage girls to sexually exploit.”
Craiger was registered as a sex offender in 2006 after a rape conviction in Oklahoma. He also was convicted in Oklahoma in 2011 on a charge of failing to register as a sex offender.