Two New Jersey police officers are in custody today, accused of violating the most basic trust that can be placed in a cop. The two officers, in separate incidents, sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl, according to two simultaneous investigations by the Special Victims Unit in Atlantic County, in the southern region of New Jersey.
Andre Corbin (left, above) and Ralph Pereira, both 43 years old, were arrested Monday. Pereira is an officer in Brigantine, a New Jersey shore beachside community just outside Atlantic City. He also lives in Brigantine, which is where he was arrested on Monday.
Corbin, or Mays Landing, New Jersey, came in to work in the Atlantic City Police Department on Monday, only to find himself under arrest as well. He was charged with two counts of sexual assault, two counts of official misconduct and a count each of criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child.
Pereira, a 10-year member of the Brigantine force, faces two counts of sexual assault as well as one count of official misconduct, as well as a charge of criminal sexual contact. Pereira remains in jail, while Corbin was able to post $100,000 bond and go free.
New Jersey Prosecutors did not release any further details of what led to the charges against the two police officers. But they are accused of carrying out the alleged sexual assaults while in a position of authority over the 16-year-old girl.
All of the crimes with which the two officers are charged carry sentences of five to ten years in prison, except the criminal sexual contact charges with are punishable by up to 18 months behind bars.
Sexual misconduct is the second-most frequent type of police misconduct, trailing only excessive force complaints, according to a 2010 study by The Cato Institute. That study surveyed 3,814 reports of police misconduct involving 4,966 cops and 5,711 victims. Of those, 10.4 percent of the officers — 516 cops — were accused of sexual misconduct.
Corbin, a nine-year veteran of the Atlantic City police, has been in trouble before. In 2008 he was charged with aggravated assault, but the charge was thrown out due to lack of evidence.
Prosecutors would neither confirm or deny that the same 16-year-old girl was the victim of both New Jersey police officers.