Today, Thursday, January 8, 2015, an Atlantic County Grand Jury indicted Brigantine Police Officer Ralph M. Pereira, 44, of the 5000 block of Ontario Avenue, Brigantine, NJ, on ten (10) criminal counts, in connection with the sexual assault of a child in 2012 and 2013:
1) 2 counts of Sexual Assault—a 2nd degree crime,
2) 3 counts of Official Misconduct—a 2nd degree crime,
3) 3 counts of 2nd degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child,
4) 1 count of 3rd degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and
An investigation by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit, with the assistance of by the Brigantine Police Department, resulted in Pereira’s arrest without incident in Brigantine on May 19, 2014.
The state alleges that Pereira provided the juvenile victim alcohol, committed acts of sexual penetration, and photographed or filmed the victim in a prohibited sexual act, while he held a position of authority and disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of his employment as a public servant.
Pereira was lodged in the Atlantic County Justice Facility in lieu of $100,000 cash bail, set by Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Donna M. Taylor. Pereira was later released on bail.
A crime of the 2nd degree carries a potential sentence of 5 to 10 years of incarceration in New Jersey State prison. A 3rd degree crime carries a potential penalty of 3 to five years of imprisonment. A 4th degree crime carries a potential prison sentence not to exceed 18 months.
First Assistant Prosecutor Diane Ruberton represents the State in the matter.
This charge is merely an accusation and not proof of guilt. In all criminal cases, a charged defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.