Former CEO gets 7-year sentence for sex with 15-year-old on private plane

The New Jersey man had been CEO at an investment firm.

June 19, 2019, 12:15 AM

The former CEO of a New Jersey investment firm was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to engaging in sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl after putting his private plane on autopilot.

Stephen Bradley Mell, 53, was sentenced in federal court on Monday, according to The Associated Press, after he pleaded guilty to charges of interstate travel to engage in illicit sexual conduct and receipt of child pornography.

Mell, of Far Hills, New Jersey, had received nude images of the girl, authorities told the AP.

Lawyers for Mell argued before the sentencing that their client had fallen into "a spiral of depression" caused by survivor's guilt after giving up a seat on a helicopter full of friends who died when it crashed.