An Essex County Sheriff’s officer recently pleaded not guilty to sexual assault charges stemming from an encounter with a prostitute in Newark, New Jersey.
According to law enforcement, the 31-year-old suspect threatened to arrest the victim and then sexually assaulted her. The suspect reportedly saw an advertisement on Backpage.com and called the victim to arrange a meeting.
During the subsequent encounter, the suspect allegedly used his badge and handgun to intimidate the victim and threatened to arrest her unless she had sex with him.
Authorities started an investigation into the alleged sex crime after the victim reported the incident to local police two days later. The victim reportedly provided investigators with a condom that she claimed the suspect had used during the sexual encounter.
Sometime later, the suspect turned himself in to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. He has been charged with a number of serious criminal offenses, including sexual assault, official misconduct, and criminal coercion.
The suspect was able to secure his release from police custody by posting a $200,000 bail amount.
The suspect recently appeared in Essex County Superior Court, in Newark NJ, for an arraignment hearing. Several members of the Essex County Sheriff’s Office also showed up for the arraignment.
During the hearing, the superior court judge ordered that the suspect’s high bail amount should be maintained. The judge also ordered the suspect to have no contact with the victim while he is out on bail.
The suspect’s attorney discussed the case with reporters after the arraignment and said that he “absolutely denies” the criminal allegations. Additionally, the defense lawyer openly questioned why the victim waited two days before reporting the incident to police.
The suspect is scheduled to return to Essex County Superior Court on May 4. While the criminal charges are pending, the suspect will be suspended without pay from his job at the sheriff’s office.
For further information about this case, view the NJ.com article entitled “Essex Sheriff’s Officer Pleads Not Guilty to Charges of Sexually Assaulting Prostitute.”