Millionaire, 53, who had sex with 15-year-old while his private plane was on autopilot sentenced to 7 years
53-year-old Stephen Bradley Mell pleaded guilty to engaging in interstate travel to engage in illicit sexual conduct and receiving child pornography
A New Jersey millionaire is now set to spend the next seven years of his life in jail after it was found that he was engaging in sex acts with an underage girl.
Stephen Bradley Mell had his sentence handed down in federal court on Monday after he admitted to engaging in sexual acts with the minor under the pretense of giving her flying lessons.
Judge Brian Martinotti sentenced the 53-year-old to an additional five years of supervised release, as well as a fine of $40,000, restitution of $35,200 and an assessment of $5,000.
It was last year in December that Mell pleaded guilty to engaging in interstate travel to engage in illicit sexual conduct and receiving child pornography.
The father-of-three, who had a brokerage firm, was accused of committing sex acts on a 15-year-old girl whose mother had approached him so that he could give her flying lessons, according to legal documents obtained by the Bridgewater Courier News.
He performed sexual acts on the teenager on three occasions in June and July of 2017, reports say.
It is also being alleged that one of these sexual acts took place in midair while Mell was flying a small aircraft that he owned.
The millionaire reportedly put his plane on autopilot to engage in sexual acts, and additionally communicated with the girl over Snapchat, where he asked her "if she knew how to perform oral sex".
Mell also allegedly asked the underage teen to send him nude photographs.
Before his sentencing, the millionaire's legal team argued that he is a "humble man" who was on "multiple anti-depressants" after falling into "a spiral of depression" brought on by survivors' guilt over giving up his seat on a fatal helicopter trip with friends in 2012.
Mell was known in his community for starting his own charity, Air LifeLine, which flew children with medical needs across the US for treatment. He was also actively involved in other charities serving children, including sitting on the board of the Far Hills Day School where he was once a student, reports claim.
Meanwhile, it is being reported that Mell's wife Kimberly Ann (Ruggles) has filed for divorce.
Moreover, after pleading guilty to federal charges, Mell was made to turn over his pilot license and told to stay 1,000 feet away from the teen girl's home and workplace. In addition, he was restricted from using computers.