A New Jersey police officer has been charged with harassment after allegedly sending sexually explicit text messages to an 18-year-old woman and trying to arrange a meeting with her hours after he arrested her, authorities said.
The officer, Damien Broschart, 29, of Howell, was charged with fourth-degree cyber harassment and third-degree hindering apprehension of oneself, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said Thursday in a news release. Broschart faces being fired.
“New Jersey law requires forfeiture of public employment for any person convicted of a third-degree crime or higher,” Gramiccioni said.
Broschart, who has worked in law enforcement for five years, was suspended without pay from the Neptune City Police Department.
Broschart stopped the woman’s car and arrested on drug charges and several traffic violations, authorities said.
After she was processed and released, Broschart took her back to her car, deactivated his body camera and mobile video recorder and asked for her phone number, the prosecutor’s office said.
While still on duty, Broschart sent her text messages, including some that were “sexual in nature,” and indicated he thought she was “cute” and would like to “pay [her] back” for everything, Gramiccioni said.
Broschart went on to send “sexually explicit messages” and tried to meet her at her home after his shift ended, “but she refused and ended the communications,” the prosecutor said.
She blocked his phone number, but he called her three times from the police department and left a message requesting a call back, authorities said. She did not return any of his calls, and instead reported Broschart, they said.
Neptune City Police Chief Matthew Quagliato said the department began an internal affairs investigation and contacted the prosecutor’s office upon learning of the allegations.
“This type of behavior will not be tolerated, and has no place within the Neptune City Police Department, and the entire law enforcement community,” Quagliato said in a statement.
He said Broschart’s alleged actions “were completely unacceptable” and do “not reflect on the great work done on a daily basis by the remaining officers.”
Broschart could not immediately be reached for comment Friday and did not return a request for comment via Facebook. He faces three to five years in prison if convicted of hindering apprehension of oneself and up to 18 months if convicted of cyberharassment.
“It is imperative that we do all that we can to ensure that the men and women who are sworn to protect and serve their communities do not have their reputations tarnished by officers who breach that trust.” said Middletown Police Chief R. Craig Weber, president of the Monmouth County Chiefs of Police Association.
Four former law enforcement officers in Monmouth County were sentenced this month for criminal conduct that cost them their jobs, Gramiccioni said in the news release:
Two former Asbury Park police officers pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal mischief stemming from an incident last year when they vandalized a resident’s vehicles after he filed an internal affairs complaint against them. An Ocean Township police officer admitted he possessed an illegal drug often used as a weight loss supplement, and a Deal officer pleaded guilty to witness tampering.
None of the officers were sentenced to jail. The Asbury Park and Deal officers were sentenced to a year of probation, and the Ocean Township officer was accepted into a pretrial intervention program.