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Ex cop gets minimum term for attempted sexual assault offense

A former New Jersey police officer recently agreed to a plea bargain with prosecutors recently. In so doing, a number of pending criminal charges involving at least three separate victims were resolved. As a result of the deal with prosecutors, the 41-year-old man pleaded guilty to more than one attempted assault offense in full satisfaction of all outstanding charges against him.

The criminal charges are traced back to an incident when the parents of a 12-year-old girl contacted police about their daughter's involvement with an older boy. During the course of that investigation, the officer is said to have given the young girl his phone number and asked her to contact him. Subsequently, he reportedly sent the girl suggestive text messages and lewd photos of himself in a police uniform. The girl's parents again complained to authorities, resulting in the officer's arrest in the earlier part of 2012.

During the pendency of the original charges, two other girls are said to have come forward. More sexual assault charges were filed against the man The plea deal encompasses all allegations. By pleading guilty to two counts involving the 12-year-old victim, the man's defense counsel was able to secure a promise that the requisite prison term would be the minimum required by New Jersey law. Accordingly, he was sentenced to two five year prison terms, to run concurrently. The sexual assault count mandates that the man serve at least 51 months of the prison term.

In addition to the jail sentence for the attempted sexual assault, the man will be subject to probation for life, must register as a sex offender and may never again serve as a member of law enforcement in the state of New Jersey. Psychological testing was also ordered. While the sentence ordered was definitive, it is clear the man was facing a far stiffer prison term should he have been convicted of all the pending charges. By reaching a plea deal with prosecutors in this instance, the man was able to achieve the minimum prison term and thus limit his exposure under clearly challenging circumstances.

Source: nj.com, "Woodland Park cop facing five years for attempted sexual assault on 12-year-old," Dan Ivers, June 27, 2013

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