Blog Archives

North Jersey high school teacher charged with criminal sexual conduct

Gianfranco Maucione was arrested Saturday at his Hasbrouck Heights home after an investigation by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and the East Rutherford and Carlstadt police departments.  An investigation revealed the 29-year-old Maucione allegedly had been exchanging sexually explicit pictures and messages with a 16-year-old student at the Henry P. Becton Regional High School in East Rutherford.

Maucione taught math there and was a former soccer coach at the school, from which he graduated in 1998. He resigned his teaching post after being charged with criminal sexual contact, child endangerment and official misconduct.

Story is here.

English teacher at Belvidere High School charged with sexual contact with student

These cases seem to get more common each day.  This case involves Christopher Goffi, of Behlehem Township, Pa., who is (was) an English teacher and cross country coach at Belvidere High School.  The alleged victim was a student between 16 and 18 years old and the alleged incident took place on December 14th.

That’s about all of the details that are out at the moment, but it does sound like he will be able to stay out of prison due to the student’s age. 

Story is here.

Assistant pastor for Mahwah Full Gospel Church charged with sexual assault

Curtis Franklin, the assistant pastor for Mahwah Full Gospel Church in Bergen County has been charged with sexual assault, criminal sexual contact and child endangerment. The State alleges that he assaulting a girl, whom he met through the church’s youth ministry, about six years ago.  What took six years and why all of a sudden this came up is unknown. 

I’m not sure how much assistant pastors make but he really needs a good attorney.  It is possible to win this case if the attorney knows what he or she is doing.  The timing of all this will be the key focus of the case.  Of course, this assumes that he did not confess.

Story is here.

Jackson firefighter charged with sexually assaulting children

John Wes Ackley, of Andover Road, Jackson, also an employee of the Board of Fire Commissioners of Fire District 4  has been charged with aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault, each of a child, possession of child pornography on his computer and on a data flash drive, and endangering the welfare of a child.  These incidents are alleged to have occurred over a 15 month time span.

Ackley was charged after being questioned by the office of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office which is code for (in my opinion) he confessed.  He was subsequently suspended from his job.  Even if he did not confess, the alleged child porn in this case is going to make it real tough for the defense as it will be used to show that the child porn was used to make the child more comfortable with the alleged abuse.  Thus, the credibility of the victim will be strengthened. 

This is the type of case where the defense should act very quickly to try to end this case and get the best result possible.  While I have had people charged with the same offenses and have kept them out of prison, it is not easy to do.   Of course, if there is a defense here, it should be pursued to trial.  Story is here.

Jersey City official for alleged online chats with young children

Joseph Ambrosio an assistant comptroller for Jersey City who resides in Wall, has been arrested for allegedly chatting with law enforcement who were posing as young girls in an online chat room.  He was charged with one count of Attempted Sexual Assault, a crime of the second degree; 6 counts of Attempted Endangering the Welfare of a Child, crimes of the third degree, and one count of Attempted Criminal Sexual Contact, a crime of the fourth degree.

Based upon these charges, it is safe to bet that there were at least six different chats and that one of them got very heated due to the second degree charge. 

This was a broad investigation that was conducted by the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.  The Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Bayonne Police Department and the Jersey City Police Department also provided assistance.

If convicted, he is looking at 5 to 10 years in prison with no hope of avoiding prison.  However, I have been able to keep my clients out of prison/jail by working out these case early.

These cases often turn on whether or not the face (or other body part) of the defendant was shown via a webcam or images that were taken specifically for the would-be young girl.  If there is nothing other than text, then there is some room to argue that it was someone else.  Otherwise, that defense goes out the window.  Since almost all of these cases involve some type of video/image evidence, these cases almost never go to trial.

If this guy gets a good attorney right away, staying out of prison is possible.  If you have been charged with this or any other crime, call me to discuss.  Story is here.

Union City High School teacher is charged with sexual contact with student

Gabriel Vasquez, a physical education teacher from Union City High School was charged with criminal sexual contact with a 16-year-old female student in his home.  Vasquez, 28 of North Bergen, was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child and official misconduct.  Since he was not charged with sexual assault, he is not alleged to have had sexual intercourse with the student. 

Vasquez is also an assistant football and lacrosse coach.  The victim’s mother contacted school officials after finding out about alleged crimes that occurred this month.  The school then noified the Union City police.  Oddly enough, the official misconduct charges may be the most serious charges that he faces.  My guess is that he will get a union attorney who will quickly plea him out to at the most, a 3 flat, but more likely probation with a small jail term.

Story is here.

Ocean County, NJ Restaurant Owner Cleared of Criminal Sexual Contact Charges

My client, G.S. is the owner of a popular Ocean County, New Jersey restaurant.  After firing a young waitress for causing problems with a customer, she called the police and charged my client with numerous criminal sexual contact charges that allegedly took place over a period of months.  Thus, not only was my client facing serious felony charges but if this case made the local paper, his restaurant business could have gone under. 

Luckily, my client called me early.  Thus, I was able to hit the ground running as I always do in these cases.  When I first met with the client, I developed a plan and put that into action right away.  If he was indicted, the case would have become rather high profile which could force a trial due to the public pressure on the State.  As a result, I had to get the prosecutor to dismiss the felony charges before indictment..

These charges are clearly bogus and thankfully, the prosecutor agreed.  Thus, the felony charges were dismissed within weeks which is lightning fast in Ocean County.  However, there were numerous assault and other charges that remained at the municipal court level.

Because these charges were so baseless, I made a motion to dismiss at the first court appearance.  That motion was granted at the second court appearance which was today.  Thus, my client has no criminal record, his name and more importantly, the name of his restaurant were not in the paper and he can resume his normal life.  Needless to say, my client was very thankful and he assured me that he will be sending a lot of people my way.

Firefighter charged with sexual assault

James R. Serfass, a lieutenant with the Upper Black Eddy Fire Company and the son of the station’s chief, was charged with second-degree sexual assault and fourth-degree criminal sexual contact of a 14 year old girl.  Police were called by the girl’s father about activity that occurred two days prior.  When the officer was at the house taking a report, Serfass showed up to apologize.  He was arrested on the spot.

Based upon the charges, I can make a guess as to what took place.  I am sure he made a statement as he was ready to apologize to the father.  If this case can be handled quickly by a good attorney, Serfass should be able to avoid prison. 

Story is here.