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Monday, July 21, 2008

NJ Police Officer Charged With Child Molestation

Veteran Hoboken New Jersey Police Officer Michael Miranda Arrested, Suspended, Charged With Child Molestation - Two Victims, Assaulted For Years - July 18th, 2008

HOBOKEN, NEW JERSEY - A Hoboken police officer has been charged with molesting two girls over a period of years beginning when one was as young as 9 years old, officials told The Jersey Journal. Police Officer Michael Miranda, 34, was suspended from the force after being arrested on the sexual assault charge by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Victims Unit, officials said. Miranda’s bail was set yesterday at $175,000, which he posted using property to secure a bond, officials said. The crimes occurred between 2000 and 2005, starting when the younger girl was only 9, said Hudson County Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Debra Simon. Prosecutors allege Miranda touched the girls and they touched him. The type of behavior alleged would likely have resulted in the lesser charge of criminal sexual contact, but the age of the victims resulted in its elevation to the second-degree crime, officials said. The charge carries a sentence of five to 10 years upon conviction. The investigation is ongoing and additional information is being gathered, Simon said. Miranda has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of the criminal investigation, but should he be found guilty, the city could seek to recoup his pay received while suspended, Hoboken Safety Director Bill Bergin said. In August 2006, Miranda was among 13 Hoboken night-shift cops who were reprimanded for either not patrolling during their shift or not patrolling properly. Then-Hoboken Police Chief Carmen LaBruno used GPS devices in patrol cars to determine that of the 25 officers working the night shift, a substantial number “were not patrolling or that their patrol patterns were inconsistent with our policy,” he said at the time. Miranda, who has been a police officer seven years, was given a written reprimand and had to give back various days.

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