Lawrence Township NJ Sept 25 2018
A firefighter and Rider University security officer has been charged with posing as a teenage girl online to get a teenage boy to send him naked photos and videos, authorities alleged Monday.
The arrest of Alan J. Berman, 58, of Bordentown City, came after the Burlington County Prosecutor’s High-Tech Crimes Unit received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
A woman from Arkansas had reported to the center that her teenage son had been contacted by a man who was attempting to engage the teen in inappropriate conversations.
Investigators arrested Berman Friday.
He works as a campus security officer at Rider University in Lawrence and serves as captain of Bordentown City’s volunteer fire department, the prosecutor’s office said. (On his LinkedIn page, Berman identifies himself as a member of the department’s fire police.)
A Rider University spokeswoman said he’s been placed on administrative leave. “He was hired in August 2017. All public safety employees at Rider must complete a satisfactory background check as a contingency of their employment,” the university said in a statement.
The prosecutor’s office said that Berman was accused of “assuming the persona of a teenage girl in order to convince a teenage boy to send him nude photos and videos of himself through an online video streaming application.”
He also engaged in sexually-explicit conversations with the boy and was found to be in possession of child pornography, the prosecutor’s office said.
He was arrested Friday on charges of four counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Police who search his home in the 100 block of Lucas Drive Friday seized his cell phone, tablet and other digital devices to analyze in their investigation, the office said.
The prosecutor’s office said Assistant Prosecutor LaChia Bradshaw will ask that Berman be detained pending trial. He is currently being held in the Burlington County Jail.
BCPO High-Tech Crimes Unit Detective Kevin Sobotka led the investigation, and the office had assistance from the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit, United States Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Bordentown City Police Department.
The prosecutor’s office said anyone who has information about any inappropriate behavior by Berman should call the High-Tech Crimes Unit at 609-265-5035.