New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that a state correction officer from Burlington County was arrested on March 21, 2013, on charges that he identified himself as a police officer in order to coerce prostitutes into having sex with him free of charge.
Juan R. Stevens, 50, of Burlington City, a senior correction officer assigned to the Department of Correction’s Central Reception and Assignment Facility in Trenton, was arrested today by State Police detectives on charges of second-degree sexual assault and third-degree criminal restraint. Stevens was charged by complaint and lodged in the Burlington County Jail with bail set at $200,000 by Superior Court Judge James W. Palmer Jr.
Stevens is alleged to have done the following:
On Feb. 24, 2012, at a hotel in Westampton, Stevens allegedly met the victim at the hotel, as arranged by phone, and agreed to pay $125 for 30 minutes of sex. Instead, however, he allegedly flashed a police-style badge, identified himself as a law enforcement officer, and said he was conducting a prostitution sting. He allegedly uttered the command “stand down” into a cell phone, which appeared to have a walkie-talkie feature. He then allegedly began to fondle the woman, who believed she was about to be arrested, telling her they could work it out. Stevens allegedly had sexual intercourse with the woman and left without paying her.
In September 2011, a woman who advertised her services as an adult escort allegedly was called by Stevens and met him at a residence in Philadelphia. Once they met, Stevens allegedly produced a badge and stated he was a police officer. However, he allegedly told the woman he would let her go if she performed oral sex on him. She allegedly complied.
In January 2012, Stevens telephoned an “adult escort” and offered $300 for her to meet him at a motel in Maple Shade for sex. Upon entering the motel room, Stevens allegedly produced a badge and identified himself as a police officer. He allegedly demanded to see the woman’s identification, which he examined. He allegedly requested oral sex from the woman, who complied because she allegedly feared arrest and knew that Stevens knew her home address from her identification. He allegedly directed her to meet him on two additional occasions in February and March of 2012, when he allegedly again coerced her into performing oral sex on him free of charge. Stevens allegedly wore handcuffs on the back of his pants on all three of those occasions.
In July 2012, Stevens allegedly telephoned a woman who advertised her services as an adult escort and agreed to meet her at a motel in Maple Shade. Stevens allegedly agreed to pay $160 for sexual intercourse, but in the motel room, he claimed to be a police officer and demanded a discounted price. The woman allegedly had sex with him, fearing arrest, and he allegedly paid her $100.
“We allege that by posing as a police officer and coercing victims into having sex with him, this defendant committed serious crimes and betrayed the public’s trust, as well as the honor of the badge he does carry, that of a state correction officer,” said Attorney General Chiesa. “We have zero tolerance for such corrupt conduct.”
Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree crimes carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.