It may be rare, but sometimes those that are positioned to enforce laws and keep the community safe can also be under investigation for criminal acts. However, even in a position of power, an active participant of law enforcement can be under the microscope. That is exactly what happened recently to a prison guard from New Jersey.
The defendant recently pleaded guilty to acting as a law enforcement officer to force four women into sexual acts. Some of the victimized women were prostitutes.
Sources report that between May 2011 and July 2012, the defendant called women’s escort services and set up sexual encounters at various motels and hotels throughout Burlington County. When the man met up with the women, he identified himself as a member of law enforcement. In this process, he displayed a badge and handcuffs. In most cases, the victim feared arrest. In fact, in one incident, the defendant purportedly insisted that he was handling a prostitution investigation. To avoid legal consequences, the women had sex with the defendant, who often left the encounters without paying.
In one particular case, a woman was forced against her will to engage in thesex acts. The New Jersey State Police and other law enforcement divisions investigated the defendant. DNA evidence ultimately linked the defendant to the forced encounter, and he was arrested not long after.
The Acting Attorney General feels as though the former prison guard “betrayed the honor of his badge by using it to commit these despicable crimes.”
The plea agreement
The 51-year-old man pleaded guilty to the charge of “official misconduct,” but he initially faced much more serious consequences. In this case, the defendant’s attorney orchestrated a plea agreement with prosecutors. Initially, the man faced theft by extortion, sexual assault, criminal coercion and impersonating a law enforcement officer. Pursuant to the agreement, the state will suggest in the sentencing portion of the case that the man be sentenced to five years in state prison, with two years of parole ineligibility. Moreover, prosecutors will ask that the man step down from his state job and have no future public employment in the state.
This case serves as a reminder that people with authority are not immune from criminal charges. The finger can be pointed at anyone. Also, this matter highlights the importance of quality legal support. If you find yourself faced with criminal allegations, there are options. As in this case, a solid defense attorney can work with the state to formulate breaks and arrangements in charging or sentencing. To learn more, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area.