12th August, 2010
A 30-year old Nigerian, Abel Oderanti, risks 30 years in jail in the United States of America and deportation if found guilty of attempted aggravated sexual assault and child endangerment.
Oderanti, who read Accounting in a Nigerian university before traveling to the US, was docked for luring a 12-year old girl for sex.
The defendant, who left Nigeria for the US a few years ago, said friends told him that the internet was a good way to meet a woman. He said he was told the romance chat room he visited was only for adults.
Oderanti had 16 message conversations and one phone chat with the undercover detective in the late 2007 and 2008. But when he finally arranged to meet the â€œgirlâ€ in Woodland Park on 4 February, 2008, he was arrested at the scene.
During his trial, Oderanti who was speaking softly and was often told to keep his voice up by State Superior Court Judge, Joseph A. Falcone in Paterson, maintained that he had never had sex with a minor and never planned to have sex with one.
The defence argued that Oderanti had a limited sexual romantic history upon coming to the US from Nigeria in 2006 making him to look for friendship on the web.
In the course of the trial, the prosecutor played the conversations to the jury during which the defendant allegedly said things such as: â€œSo what kind of friendship do you want, if youâ€™re underage?â€ and â€œYouâ€™re so young. That means you are a virgin? Youâ€™ve never had sex with a guy before?â€
The trial continues.