New Jersey millionaire Stephen Mell, 53, has pleaded guilty to sexual acts with a 15-year-old girl for months, including while flying a private plane after he set it on auto pilot. Mell will be sentenced Tuesday at the U.S. District Court in Trenton, and faces the possibility of five years in federal prison and five years of supervised release.
Mell pleaded guilty last Decembe to charges of "engaging in interstate travel to engage in illicit sexual conduct and receiving child ponography," The State reported.
The New Jersey millionaire, who was the chief executive of W.H Mell Associates, an investing firm that specialized in municipal bond markets, was set free on a $1 million bond. He currently lives with his mother in Kiawah Island, South Carolina.
Mell first met the girl after her mother introduced them for flying lessons. He began communicating with her privately through SnapChat in 2017. According to the complaint, the conversation turned sexual when he asked her if she knows "how to perform oral sex." He performed sex acts on the girl on three occasions in June and July 2017. Mell flew with her in his private plane from New Jersey to Cape Cod during one of those meetups.
He also arranged a hotel room for them and asked for sexually explicit photos of the girl, and requested her to take birth control pills. According to the indictment, he wrote to her, "Trust me the sex is amazing but so is being around you." On November 2017, he asked the girl to send " a nice naked pic cute thing."
According to USA Today, Mell has agreed to surrender his pilot's license and stay 1,000 feet away from the victim's home and place of employment. He also cannot access computers and has agreed to take periodic polygraph tests to consent with his bail. Mell has three children with his wife, who has filed for divorce.
This article originally appeared in IBTimes US.