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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Almost fifteen years after Derick Stevens allegedly sexually assaulted an inmate at the county jail he worked at, the criminal case against him finally appears to be coming to a close.
But, like other public officials who have been given probation despite the severity of their alleged crimes, Stevens will likely avoid any time in jail.
His career with the Middlesex County Department of Adult Corrections and Youth Services began on August 19, 1996, four years before he allegedly sexually assaulted the inmate.
Stevens was promoted, and ended up earning $70,291 annual salary as an assistant director at the jail.
As we reported in 2013, a grand jury had indicted indicted the 46-year-old Burlington resident on counts of official misconduct, sexual assault witness tampering, hindering his own apprehension, obstructing the administration of law, and tampering with physical evidence.
But now the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office has agreed to drop most of the serious charges, and instead worked out an agreement that would likely prevent Stevens from being imprisoned in the same facility he worked at.
Under the plea deal announced by Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey, the suspended assistant director of the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center admitted to charges of witness tampering and, in a separate case, making and carrying false police identification.
During an investigation into the sexual assault of a 21-year-old female incarcerated at the county’s youth detention center, detectives discovered the false police identification on October 17, 2012.
“Under a plea agreement reached with Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Christie L. Bevacqua, the defendant will be placed on probation for up to five years when he is sentenced on March 27, 2015 by Superior Court Judge Barry A. Weisberg in New Brunswick,” reads the press release.
Stevens must forfeit his job at the corrections center, which he has been suspended from without pay since 2011, under the plea deal. He is also banned from holding any public jobs in New Jersey.
According to authorities, Stevens attempted to convince the woman he sexually assaulted not to provide incriminating statements against him, and tried to pressure her mother to convince her not to do so.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.