A former prison guard from Burlington County was sentenced to five years in prison Wednesday for impersonating a police officer to coerce four women, including three prostitutes, into having sex with him.
Juan R. Stevens, 51, of Burlington Township, was sentenced to five years in prison, including two years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Jeanne T. Covert. Stevens pleaded guilty on Oct. 17 to a charge of official misconduct. He forfeited his state job as a result of the plea and is permanently barred from public employment in New Jersey.
Between May 2011 and July 2012, Stevens telephoned women who advertised their services online as adult escorts and arranged to meet them for sex at hotels throughout Burlington County, including one in Maple Shade. He would then identify himself as law enforcement—displaying a badge and wearing handcuffs on the back of his pants—so the victim feared she would be arrested, authorities said. In one instance, Stevens claimed he was conducting a prostitution sting and uttered the command “stand down” into a cell phone, which appeared to have a walkie-talkie feature. Fearing she was going to be arrested, the woman had sex with Stevens, who then left without paying.
Stevens also sexually assaulted a woman at a motel in Mansfield. Authorities said he approached the victim outside the motel, identified himself as a police officer, and asked to talk to her about prostitution and drug activity at the motel. Upon entering her room, he displayed a badge and ordered her to take her clothes off. The woman told authorities she feared Stevens, and engaged in oral sex and sexual intercourse without a condom. DNA evidence later linked Stevens to the assault. It was the first time charges were filed as a result of a new state law, signed by Gov. Christie, that requires DNA sampling of anyone arrested for violent crimes.
“By abusing his badge to commit these abhorrent and offensive crimes, this correction officer proved that he has no business in our state prisons, except as a prisoner,” said Acting Attorney General John Hoffman.
Information provided by the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General