2022 Award RecipientsThe New Jersey Sex Crimes Officers Association (NJSCOA) in conjunction with Middle Atlantic-Great Lakes Organized Crime Law Enforcement Network® (MAGLOCLEN) hosted the 24th Annual Sex Crimes Conference from Wednesday, November 30, 2022 through Friday, December 2, 2022 at the Seaview Hotel in Galloway, NJ. During this conference, the NJSCOA held its annual award ceremony on Wednesday, November 30, 2022. The Outstanding Law Enforcement Award honors those who exemplified excellence in a sex crimes or child abuse investigation. The Krisza Lifetime Achievement Award, named after NJSCOA founding member and former Deputy Chief of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Joseph Krisza, honors those who have no less than twenty years of service, and is presented to a deserving individual who spent a substantial period of their career within the field of sex crimes and/or child abuse investigations.
This year’s Outstanding Law Enforcement award recipients were as follows:
2022’s Krisza Lifetime Achievement Award were as follows:
2021 Award Recipients:
The New Jersey Sex Crimes Officers Association (NJSCOA) in conjunction with Middle Atlantic-Great Lakes Organized Crime Law Enforcement Network® (MAGLOCLEN) hosted the 23rd Annual Sex Crimes Conference from Wednesday, December 1 through Friday, December 3, 2021 at the Seaview Hotel in Galloway Township, NJ. During this conference, the NJSCOA held its annual award ceremony on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 honoring those who exemplified excellence in the field of sex crimes and child abuse investigations. Please keep in mind, criminal charges are mere accusations. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
This year’s award recipients are as follows:
On Sunday, November 29, 2020, the South Plainfield Police Department received a report of a home invasion, and armed robbery on a family of four by three unknown males, during which one of the assailants sexually assaulted the adult female victim. The assailants also physical assaulted the adult residents, pointed a handgun at the 4 year old child, and demanded electronics, money, and a watch.
Detective Thomas Rutter of the South Plainfield Police Department, and Detective Christopher Pennisi of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office were assigned this matter, and they conducted 15 victim and witness statements, collected and reviewed hours of footage from 11 different establishments, and they authorized 16 Communication Data Warrants, which resulted in a voluminous amount of records. The collective work of Detective Rutter and Pennisi resulted in the arrest of three suspects, which resulted in approximately 30 charges.
SOUTH PLAINFIELD POLICE DEPARTMENT
MIDDLESEX COUNTY PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE
Detective Thomas Rutter, South Plainfield Police Department
Detective Christopher Pennisi, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office
Sergeant Michael Guzman, Lieutenant Jennifer Rueda, and Detective Diane DaSilva of the Special Victims Unit, Assistant Prosecutor Katie Cobb, and Detective Walter Kumka of the Special Investigation Squad, and Sergeant Chris Lewicki, of the Intelligence Unit. On Thursday, November 5, 2020, the Fairview Police Department received a 911 call from a woman who stated that she had just been physically assaulted and raped, and it was later learned that had been trafficked to New Jersey from Tenancingo in Tlaxcala, Mexico. Sergeant Michael Guzman and Detective Diane DaSilva of the Special Victims Unit were able to gain the trust of this woman, who provided information on her traffickers. Over the course of a month, the Special Investigations Unit and Intelligence Unit were able to identify multiple layers of a large-scale human trafficking investigation, which resulted in a three month long wire. Hundreds of hours of surveillance were conducted by the Special Investigation Squad and the Special Victims Unit, which resulted in numerous johns and over fifty human trafficking victims to be identified. As a result of the investigation, on February 2, 2021, four defendants were arrested and charged with Racketeering, Financial Facilitation, Human Trafficking and other associated charges. Additionally nineteen defendants were charged with Promoting Prostitution. While all of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office assisted in this investigation known as “Operation Hope in Darkness” it was through the specific dedicated work of these aware recipients that this criminal operation was stopped.
Eileen Allen (Retired Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office)
The Krisza Award is named after Joseph “Joe" Krisza, founding member of the New Jersey Sex Crimes Officer Association, retired Deputy Chief of the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, and current Department Head of Public Safety & Health for Middlesex County. After 25 years since NJSCOA’s inception, Joe continues to contribute to the New Jersey Sex Crimes Officers Association, and is a staple at our quarterly meetings and yearly conference. This lifetime achievement award is to be presented to a deserving individual or individuals who have spent a substantial period of their career within the field of sex crimes and/or child abuse investigations and has demonstrated extraordinary contributions to this field. The recipient(s) of this award is someone who has had a long time commitment in the field of sex crimes and/or child abuse investigation, and whose body of work has been dedicated to this field. This is the first ever Krisza Award being awarded, and this year, the award recipient is Eileen Allen, retired Forensic Nurse Examiner, and former Sexual Assault Response Team coordinator for the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. Eileen began her career in 1996, and was instrumental in creating the forensic kits used statewide during a SART exam, as well as instituting the SANE/SART Program in all counties in the State under Governor Christie Todd Whitman in 1998. Eileen has performed hundreds of exams, testified in court as an expert, and provided training for thousands of forensic nurses, law enforcement officers, and sexual violence advocates. As the President of the International Association of Forensic Nurses, Eileen has given lectures all over the world. Eileen retired on June 20, 2021, after dedicating 25 years of service to the victims and survivors of Monmouth County.
2020 Award Recipients:
Our 23rd Annual Sex Crimes Information Sharing Conference, hosted by the NJSCOA and MAGLOCLEN, was scheduled to take place this week at the Seaview in Galloway Township, and the award ceremony would have taken place on the morning of Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Although the conference was canceled due to Covid-19, the NJSCOA and MAGNOCLEN both recognize that those who work in the field of sex crimes and child abuse do not stop working even in the face of a pandemic, and especially for that reason, we felt it was important to recognize excellence in this line of work.
The 23rd Annual Sex Crimes Information Sharing Conference, co-hosted by the New Jersey Sex Crimes Officers Association (NJSCOA), and the Middle Atlantic-Great Lakes Organized Crime Law Enforcement Network (MAGLOCLEN), was scheduled to take place at the Seaview in Galloway Township, New Jersey, from December 2 – 4, 2020, during which an awards ceremony would have taken place. Although the conference was cancelled due to Covid-19, the NJSCOA and MAGLOCLEN recognize that those who work in the field of sex crimes and child abuse did not stop working even in the face of a pandemic, and especially for that reason, we felt it was important to continue to recognize excellence in this line of work. This year, we received many great nominations exemplifying the amazing work that is done by our colleagues. This made the selection process for award recipients extremely difficult. These synopsis do not even begin to touch on the amount of work that went into these cases, but as all of these cases are all pending court proceedings, we are limited in what information can be provided at this time. Please keep in mind, criminal charges are mere accusations. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Assistant Prosecutor Bryna Batten, Cape May Prosecutor’s Office
Detective Jennifer Falciani, Cape May Prosecutor’s Office
Detective II Matthew Hanlin, New Jersey State Police
In July 2019, Assistant Prosecutor Bryna Batten, Detective Jennifer Falciani and Detective Matthew Hanlin received a referral concerning a juvenile victim who had been sexually assaulted by two males, Willis Allen Jr, and Ryan Roach, in Belleplain, New Jersey. Multiple interviews, search warrants, communication data warrants, and subpoenas were utilized which helped lead to the identification of two additional victims, as well as an additional defendants, Vincent Allen, Carol Allen and Teresa Millard. Assistant Prosecutor Bryna Batten, Detective Jennifer Falciani and Detective Matthew Hanlin showed great dedication and persistence during this yearlong investigation, which resulted in the following charges: Carol Allen: Three counts of liability of conduct for another for Aggravated Sexual Assault, and five counts of Endangering the Welfare of a child.
Vincent Allen: Aggravated Sexual Assault and Endangering the Welfare of a Child
Willis Allen Jr,: Aggravated Sexual Assault, conspiring with another to commit Aggravated Sexual Assault, Sexual Assault, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
Ryan Roach: Aggravated Sexual Assault, conspiracy to commit Aggravated Sexual, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
Teresa Millard: Aggravated Sexual Assault, conspiracy to commit Aggravated Sexual Assault, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
For additional information, see:
HUDSON COUNTY PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE & NORTH BERGEN POLICE DEPARTMENT
Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, Special Victims Unit
North Bergen Police Department, Detective Bureau
At the end of October 2019, members of the North Bergen Police Department and Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office were contacted concerning a 23 year old female who had been grabbed from behind by an unknown male who threatened the female with a sharp object. He pulled her into the Grove Church Cemetery and sexually assaulted her. The North Bergen Police Department and Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office worked tirelessly in order to identify the stranger rapist. Within the same month, Oscar Ramirez was identified and apprehended.
This all hands on deck investigation was a true team effort, and each and every person involved showed their dedication and perseverance. We would like to specifically recognize the following individuals who were involved with this case:
Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office - SVU
Captain Matthew Gasiorowski, Lieutenant Javier Toro, Sergeant Maria Dargan (retired), Sergeant Leslie Feinholtz, Sergeant Peter Kwon, Sergeant Polly Hans, Detective Francin Cifuentes, Detective Allison Dixon, Sergeant Adam Drew (Hudson County Jail - on loan), Detective Sean Kennedy, Detective Amanda Klarmann, Detective Michelle Lenczuk, Detective Josue Martinez, Detective Julia Medina, Detective Aida Miranda, Detective Kevin O’Reilly, Detective Christopher Pelaez (Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office), Detective Ashley Rubel, Detective Yvette Scarpa, Detective Jamie Sackerman, and Detective Lusmary Sepulveda.
Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office -CSI
Detective Maegan Larsen and Detective Risheem Whitten.
Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office -TARU
Detective Paul Grosso, Detective Richard Jubak Jr., Detective Josh Skolnick, and Detective Matthew Svorinic.
North Bergen Police Department
Captain David Dowd, Sergeant Insetta, Sergeant Roberto Maldonado, Sergeant Edgar Mendez, Sergeant Brian O’Niell, Sergeant Thomas Yfantis, Detective Hector Botello, Detective Jason Castillo, Detective Constantinos, Detective Christopher Orellana, Detective Palcido, Detective Eric Weyand, Officer Saray Durango, Officer Chris Fernandez, Officer Placido Hernandez, Officer Kayla Muniz Muniz, Officer Julio Norriega, Officer Jorge Palaguachi, Officer Johnny Sanchez, Officer Samantha Sexton, Officer G. Somarribla, and Officer Michael Whalen.
Hudson County Sheriff’s Office
Oscar Ramirez was charged with Kidnapping, Aggravated Sexual Assault while armed, Aggravated Sexual Assault during the Commission of a Crime, Armed Robbery, Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact while Armed, Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact during the Commission of a Crime, Terroristic Threats, Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon.
For additional information, see:
UNION COUNTY PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE
Detective Joanne Son, Union County Prosecutor’s Office
On July 6, 2020, Union County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit received a referral from the Union Township Police Department regarding a sexual assault of an elderly woman that occurred in her residence. Because of Detective Son’s tireless efforts in tracking down potential witnesses, analyzing forensic data and countless hours of video surveillance, the defendant was ultimately located and arrested.
PAST AWARD RECIPIENTS
2019Morris County Prosecutor's Office
Sergeant Marshall Wang
Detective Craig May
Assistant Prosecutor Laura Magnone
Assistant Prosecutor Elizabeth Beaman
Victim/Witness Advocate Amanda Holloway
State vs. Aldophus Mims: On June 12, 2019, a Morris County jury found Aldophus Mims guilty of four (4) counts of 1st degree Human Trafficking, three (3) counts of 1st degree Promoting Prostitution, two (2) counts of 2nd degree Sexual Assault, one (1) count of 3rd degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and two (2) counts of 3rd degree Distribution of Heroin. For more information, see: https://www.nj.com/morris/2019/09/man-gets-40-years-for-pimping-underage-girls-at-nj-hotel.html
Detective Sofia DeBrito
Somerset County Prosecutor's Office
Detective Janet Lopez
Union County Prosecutor's Office