July 29, 2020
FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A Monmouth County corrections officer was sentenced to two-years probation after admitting he engaged in sexual contact with an inmate at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution last year, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Thomas J. Mauro, 42 of Beachwood, was sentenced by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Vincent N. Falcetano, Jr. Although the State argued that Mauro should be incarcerated for 180 days in jail, Judge Falcetano instead suspended the imposition of any jail term on the defendant, indicating he would serve the 180 days if he violated his probation. Judge Falcetano further ordered Mauro to maintain full time employment, obtain substance abuse and mental health evaluations, and follow all recommendations, and attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. The Court had previously ordered Mauro to permanently forfeit his ability to hold public office at his guilty plea earlier this year.
The victim, a 31-year-old female inmate from Neptune City, was observed on April 27, 2019, entering a bathroom at the correctional facility reserved for the exclusive use of Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) staff. Moments later, Mauro followed her into the same bathroom. While in the bathroom, Mauro engaged in sexual contact with the inmate before they each exited the bathroom separately. The investigation revealed that Mauro and the woman had a prior relationship in 2013 while the woman was not an inmate at the facility. Regardless of any prior relationship, such sexual contact is prohibited by law. A correction officer’s power and authority over an inmate invalidates any possible consent that an inmate could provide.
“Law enforcement officers have an obligation to maintain the public’s trust that they are conducting themselves at the highest standards. Corrections officers have the added obligation to ensure that they are maintaining an environment free of the abuse demonstrated in this case,” Gramiccioni said.
“Let this serve as a warning to every officer: violating your oath does harm to your fellow officers, the inmates, and public. Any officer violating that oath will be held fully accountable for their conduct. I’m proud of the corrections officers who diligently serve this agency, and no one will tarnish that reputation,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden.
The case was prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the Office’s Professional Responsibilities and Bias Crime Unit.
Mauro is represented by Jeffrey Garrigan, Esq., of Jersey City.