QUEENS, NY – Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz today announced that two men, Eduardo Hernandez and Joseph Creegan, have been indicted by a Queens County Grand Jury on charges of attempted use of a child in a sexual performance and other crimes for allegedly trying to lure a girl each had separately met online to meet in person for sex.
They were caught in an undercover operation where the teenagers they were soliticing were actually undercover officers.
District Attorney Katz said, “These cases are very disturbing and reveal the extreme importance of law enforcement internet surveillance initiatives to apprehend sexual predators who actively engage with children. This should serve as a warning for parents and guardians – be mindful of who your child interacts with online and monitor their access and activities.”
Creegan, 49, of Manhattan was arraigned last Tuesday before Queens Supreme Court Justice Stephanie Zaro on a three-count indictment charging him with attempted use of a child in a sexual performance, attempted disseminating indecent material to minors in the first degree and attempted endangering the welfare of a child. Justice Zaro ordered the defendant to return to court on March 16, 2021. Hernandez, 38, of Corona, Queens, was arraigned today before Queens Supreme Court Justice Zaro on a 4-count indictment charging him with attempted use of a child in a sexual performance as a sexually motivated felony, attempted criminal sexual act in the second degree, attempted disseminating indecent material to minors in the first degree as a sexually motivated felony and attempted endangering the welfare of a child. Justice Zaro ordered Hernandez to return to court on January 11, 2021. Both defendants face up to seven years in prison if convicted.
District Attorney Katz said, that according to the charges, between June 13, 2019 and December 4, 2019, the defendant using the screen name JOSEPH CREEGAN engaged in numerous online conversations on the MEET24 app with an undercover officer posing as a 14-year-old girl from Queens. During the conversation, the defendant, who was informed repeatedly that he was talking to a 14-year-old, offered his phone number and indicated that it was ok to exchange text messages.
On June 18, 2019, the defendant requested a meeting and later asked if she would send the defendant nude pictures of herself. In the Hernandez case, DA Katz said that, according to the charges, between November 11, 2020 and November 19, 2020, the defendant engaged in sexually-explicit conversations on the Grindr app with an undercover officer who was posing as a 14-year-old boy.
The defendant requested naked pictures and asked to meet the teenager at a location in Queens County to have sex. The defendant arrived at the location and met with the undercover officer – still pretending to be the 14-year-old – and at that time the defendant allegedly indicated he wanted to have sex with the teenager. Detective Philip Adaszewski of the New York Police Department’s Vice Major Case Squad conducted both investigations under the supervision of Lieutenant Joseph Agresta, Captain Thomas Milano and Inspector Neteis Gilbert. Assistant District Attorney Kateri Gasper, Unit Chief of the District Attorney’s Computer Crime Unit in the Frauds Bureau is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Joseph Conley, Bureau Chief, Herman Wun, Deputy Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney of Investigations Gerard A. Brave.