Union County busts 14 sex offenders accused of going into hiding
ELIZABETH — Authorities in Union County spent a week nabbing 14 sex-offender fugitives wanted on charges of failing to comply with Megan's Law.
The fugitives ranged in age from 24 to 56 and had rap sheets that included convictions for sexual assault, kidnapping, criminal sexual contact, child endangerment, promoting prostitution, assaulting police, drugs and weapons violations.
Prosecutors said that the men had been arrested 127 times and convicted of 56 felonies.
The 14 were newly charged with third-degree charges of either failing to register a new address, failing to re-registering with law enforcement, or failing to notify law enforcement of an address change. The farthest arrest was made in North Carolina.
On Wednesday, state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal touted the 1994 Megan's Law.
“By mandating that police be notified – and residents as well for more dangerous offenders – Megan’s Law was designed to protect the public, particularly children, from the threat posed when convicted sex offenders move into a community," Grewal said. "We will continue to maintain vigilance on behalf of our children and families in New Jersey.”
Acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo said that as a result of the arrests, "there is no question that the streets of Union County are safer today than they were a week ago.”
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.