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Virginia Man Who Forced Bergen Youth To Send Him Sex Photos Gets 4 Years

Brian Pettenger
Brian Pettenger Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE

A judge in Hackensack sentenced a Virginia man who admitted forcing a 13-year-old Bergen County girl to send him sexually explicit images to four years in state custody -- nearly 3½ of which he must serve before becoming eligible for parole.

Brian Pettenger, 46, who was married and unemployed at the time, was arrested at his Riner, VA home last August during a search there by detectives from the Virginia State Police and the Bergen County Prosecutor's Computer Crimes Unit.

Pettenger contacted the youngster on social media pretending to be another teen, authorities said at the time. The pair had a series of sexually explicit online chats in which child pornography was exchanged, they said.

Pettenger then threatened to post the previous photos unless the teen sent him more, they said.

Under New Jersey law, Pettenger will have to register as a Megan's Law offender after his release.

Pettenger, who'd been free on $75,000 bail the past nine months, was taken to the Bergen County Jail -- pending assignment to a state correctional facility -- following Friday's sentencing.

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