Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago on Friday announced the arrest of a Jersey shore police officer.

46-year-old Sea Bright police officer Erich A. Bennett was charged with second-degree pattern of official misconduct, 2 counts of second-degree official misconduct, 2 counts of third-degree computer theft, third-degree making terroristic threats, fourth-degree hindering apprehension, fourth-degree identity theft, and fourth-degree stalking.

The Prosecutor stated that the officer and the alleged victim had been in a brief relationship that ended in November.  In December, he showed up at her residence unannounced and made physical threats against her.  At that point, she blocked him electronically and installed security cameras.

The Prosecutor went on to state,

Then, on Sunday, January 8, 2023, the victim began receiving harassing and threatening messages via social media from an online persona, which the investigation connected to Bennett. The next weekend, on Saturday, January 14, 2023, as she was leaving her home, the victim noticed that all four tires on her vehicle had been slashed.  She further noticed over the weekend that the side of her vehicle had been keyed, a flagpole had been torn off the front of her house, and her Ring doorbell camera and two additional security cameras had been removed from her residence. The investigation placed Bennett in the area of the victim’s residence at the suspected time of the vandalism.

An investigation led to the discovery that Bennett allegedly tapped into the official law enforcement database on at least 30 occasions between last October through January to gather information about the victim, and people connected to her.

Bennett was taken into custody and is currently housed at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution awaiting a detention trial.  That trial is scheduled for February 6th.


When New Jersey Police helped deliver life into the world

NJ teachers and educators caught in sex crime busts

Over the past few years, state lawmakers have taken on the challenge of dealing with accused child predators among the ranks of teachers and educators.

In 2018, the so-called “pass the trash” law went into effect, requiring stricter New Jersey school background checks related to child abuse and sexual misconduct.

The follow individuals were arrested over the past several years. Some have been convicted and sentenced to prison, while others have accepted plea deals for probation.

Others cases are still pending, including some court delays amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

NJ arrests 31 accused child predators in "Operation 24/7"

A roundup of 31 men have been accused of sexually exploiting children online, state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced on July 14 while detailing "Operation 24/7."

The suspects “possessed and or distributed videos and images of child sexual abuse, including in many cases videos of young children being raped by adults,” Grewal said.

Chat apps and gaming platforms remain favorite hunting grounds for child predators and even as the pandemic winds down, many children have continued to spend more time online.

State Police received 39% more tips in just the first 6 months of 2021 than they received in the entire year in 2019. The following are suspects charged in "Operation 24/7."

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