North Plainfield cop facing sex assault charges suspended
NORTH PLAINFIELD — The officer who is charged with sexually assaulting a woman at a Kenilworth hotel has been suspended without pay, according to the North Plainfield Police Department as the investigation into the matter continues.
Chief William G. Parenti said the department is cooperating fully with the investigation into the arrest of officer Mike Jean-Baptiste being conducted by the Union County Prosecutor's Office and the Kenilworth police. The chief said he has "no firsthand knowledge of what transpired" in regards to the charges against Jean-Baptiste.
A three-year veteran of the force Chief Parenti described Jean-Baptiste's work as "outstanding."
"He was good with the community, he got along good with people, he had a good background coming from the military and put himself through the alternate route program," Parenti said. "He seemed to be doing a pretty good job."
Calling the charges against Jean-Baptiste a "very, very, very serious thing," Parenti said "it's sad when any police officer gets arrested, but as of right now he's innocent until proven guilty."
According to Acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park, Jean-Baptiste has been charged with second-degree sexual assault for an incident in March where he met a woman while on duty and allegedly sexually assaulted her that same day at a local hotel.
According to NJ.com, at a hearing on Tuesday, Union County Assistant Prosecutor Lisa Ann Cybulski asked that Jean-Baptiste be kept in custody because of the nature of the charge he faces. A judge set a detention hearing date for July 31.
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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com