LONG BRANCH — A city police officer will resign from his job after admitting that he improperly touched a woman's buttocks during a private party held to celebrate police promotions.

Patrick Joyce pleaded guilty Thursday to a disorderly persons offense of offensive touching. Monmouth County prosecutors will recommend that Joyce receive probation when he's sentenced June 7 and will dismiss a criminal sexual contact charge.

The 35-year-old West Long Branch resident admitted touching the 21-year-old victim, though he said he had so much to drink that night that he couldn't remember what happened.

The plea deal is contingent upon Joyce completing an outpatient alcohol rehabilitation program.

Joyce had served with the Long Branch police force since 2006. He had been suspended without pay when the improper touching allegation was made.

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