NJ Corrections Officer Accused of Shaking Down Prostitutes for Sex
A New Jersey corrections officer from Burlington City is apprehended on charges that he coerced free sex from prostitutes by identifying himself as a police officer.
Juan R. Stevens, 50, faces counts of second-degree sexual assault and third-degree criminal restraint. He was placed in the Burlington County Jail with bail set at $200,000.
The charges follow a probe conducted by corruption bureaus of the New Jersey State Police and Division of Criminal Justice.
According to Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa's office, Stevens is accused of conning at least four prostitutes into free or discounted sex. Investigators say he used the name "Rich" or "Rick" by phone to escort services and setting up dates in hotels in Burlington County and Philadelphia.
Instead of paying, authorities say, Stevens would produce what appeared to be law enforcement badges and coerced women into giving up their fees under fear of arrest.
Investigators contend that Westampton police received a report of an alleged incident on February 24, 2012. They say that starting there, they uncovered similar instances dating back to September 2011 and continuing through July 2012.
The second-degree charge carries a possible sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a $150,000 fine on convicton. The third-degree count has a three-to-five-year sentence and fine up to $15,000 attached.
Anyone in New Jersey can report suspected corruption and other crimes confidentially. The state Division of Criminal Justice maintains a hotline, 1-866-TIPS-4CJ. Tips can also be sent electronically at http://www.njdcj.org.