Former detective and Chatham resident James N. Haspel, 50, was sentenced Friday to six years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Thomas V. Manahan for soliciting a nude photo online from a person he believed was a 13-year-old girl.
Haspel –attempted distribution of child pornography.
In pleading guilty, Haspel admitted that he engaged in Internet communications in which he solicited a person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl to send him a nude photo of herself, according to the Office of Attorney General Paula T. Dow. In reality, the person was an undercover detective of the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit. Previously, the State Police charged that Haspel, on more than one occasion, transmitted webcam videos of himself with his genitals exposed to the person he believed was a 13-year-old girl.
Haspel forfeited his job as a police officer as a result of his guilty plea and will be permanently barred from public employment. He will be subject to registration as a sex offender under Megan’s Law, according to Dow's office.
Haspel admitted that between December 2009 and May 2010 he communicated online with a person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl, including communications that occurred while on duty at police headquarters using a computer supplied by the borough for official police business.
Haspel, who was employed by the Madison Borough Police Department for 25 years, was arrested by the New Jersey State Police on May 11, 2010.
“It is shocking that a police officer would communicate online in a sexually explicit way with someone he believed to be a 13-year-old girl,” Dow said in a release. “He betrayed his badge as well as any standard of decency.