Prosecutor: NJ Cop Messaged, Handcuffed, Stalked 16-year-old Girl
A police officer in Manalapan Township has been arrested for allegedly engaging in a pattern of illegal behavior with a 16-year-old girl whom he met at a National Night Out event.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office says 46-year-old Kevin Ruditsky has been charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, second-degree official misconduct, third-degree computer theft, third-degree hindering apprehension, fourth-degree stalking, and false imprisonment.
An investigation began earlier this month when authorities learned that Ruditsky had been allegedly sending inappropriate messages and pictures to the teen.
Ruditsky's involvement with the girl reportedly started during Manalapan Township’s National Night Out event.
According to officials,
- Ruditsky was in full uniform at the time [of the National Night Out event], and after allowing the victim to sit in his patrol car, later that evening and in the days that followed, he began sending her sexually explicit messages and photos via social media – despite the victim having repeatedly informed him of her age.
- The investigation also determined that several days after National Night Out, while the victim was driving on Route 9, Ruditsky pulled her over, unlawfully handcuffed her, and attempted to kiss her while his dash camera and body-worn camera were both deactivated.
- The investigation further revealed that Ruditsky conducted lookups of the victim in a law enforcement database, outside the purview of any legitimate law enforcement purpose, and on one occasion he parked his marked patrol vehicle outside of the victim’s home – after she had refused to provide him with her home address.
Taken into custody
Ruditsky was arrested without incident Wednesday and lodged in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution.
Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond Santiago said in a statement,
That a sworn member of law enforcement would begin to so egregiously violate the public’s trust while in uniform at an event specifically intended to strengthen trust between law enforcement and the public is, in a word, unconscionable. Swift action in addressing this conduct, culminating in the charges being announced today, was an absolute imperative.
Anyone with information about this or related matters is urged to contact MCPO Det. Gregory Hilton II at (800) 533-7443.
The public is reminded that charges are accusations and all persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.