A Middlesex County man who was arrested last week and charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl he met on Facebook, was charged again today in connection with an additional assault against a minor, who he also met on Facebook, announced First Assistant Prosecutor Albert Cernadas, Jr.
Michael Sebastian DOB: 11/27/1982 of Perth Amboy was charged today with 2nd Degree luring, 3rd Degree endangering the welfare of a minor and 4th Degree criminal sexual contact. These charges stem from an incident earlier this month after Sebastian – claiming that he was 17-years-old and using the alias Chris – contacted a 14-year-old Union County girl via the social networking site and convinced her to meet him, said Cernadas.
He picked up the girl at her house, drove to a motel on Rt. 22 where he rented a room, supplied the teen with alcohol and sexually assaulted her. The victim was able to escape the room and ran across the highway to a restaurant where she called a family member to pick her up.
The assault was discovered after Prosecutor’s Office Detective Patricia Gusmano and Detective Jim Morton of the Springfield Police Department were continuing their investigation into the assault of another 14-year-old girl who was assaulted by Sebastian in the parking lot of a Springfield store on Sept. 8.
“This commitment to the original victim and the safety of others led to these additional charges,” said Cernadas. “The detectives have been working nonstop to identify potential additional victims and we urge anyone with relative information to contact our office or the Springfield police department.”
The initial arrest and charges from the Sept. 8 assault came after Sebastian made contact with the teen on Facebook. He also told that victim in online conversations that he was 17-years-old, according to the investigation, and repeatedly had sent her sexually charged messages and requested a meeting with the girl. She had refused his advances, said Cernadas.
In early September the victim posted on the social networking site that she was going to a specific store in Springfield. As she exited, Sebastian pulled up to the curb in his car and pressured the victim to enter the vehicle. He parked a short distance away and assaulted the girl, according to the investigation.
The girl’s parent’s discovered the assault after reading online communications between Sebastian and the victim and notified authorities who immediately launched an investigation. He was charged in that case with 2nd Degree Sexual Assault, 2nd Degree luring and 3rd Degree endangering the welfare of a minor.
Sebastian was arrested on Sept. 23 at his office in Skillman, N.J. where he worked as a lab technician.
Following the additional charges this morning Sebastian’s bail was raised to $175,000. He remains in custody at the Union County Jail.
“It is not an invasion of privacy for parents to monitor their children’s online activity, it is a matter of keeping them safe from predators,” said Cernadas. “Situations like these can be avoided if parents are upfront about the dangers of online predators. Set and enforce rules for responsible internet use and make sure your kids know that very real dangers like this exist.”
This remains an active investigation. Anyone with information is urged to contact Prosecutor’s Office Detective Patricia Gusmano at (908) 527-4589 or Detective Jim Morton of the Springfield Police Department at (973) 376-0400
These criminal charges are mere accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.