Tennessee Man Charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault, Sexual Assault, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child

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MORRIS COUNTY — Acting Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll, Acting Chief of Investigations Christoph Kimker, and Chief Marc Palanchi of the Township of Roxbury Police Department announce the arrest of Richard A. Ziegler, date of birth July 8, 1950, of Oneida, Tennessee.

The defendant has been charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2a(1) and (2), crimes of the first degree; three counts of Sexual Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2b, crimes of the second degree; Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3a, a crime of the third degree; and two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4a (1), crimes of the second degree.

It is alleged that between December 1, 1981, and May 31, 1987, in the Township of Roxbury, the defendant engaged in multiple sexual acts with two separate victims. One victim was between the ages of 10 and 12 when the acts occurred, and the other victim was between the ages of 10 and 15.  It is further alleged that at the time of the assaults, the defendant had been living with the victims and had assumed responsibility for the care of them.

The defendant was recently located in Oneida, Tennessee, by the Tennessee Highway Patrol -Criminal Investigations Division. Their investigation alleged that the defendant had falsified documents to obtain a Driver’s License in Tennessee under an assumed identity. During the investigation into the defendant’s identity, Tennessee officials became aware of the allegations against the defendant for sexual assault in New Jersey and notified the Township of Roxbury Police Department and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.  The defendant was charged in Tennessee with Aggravated Perjury, a Class D felony, and Driver’s License Fraud, a Class A misdemeanor.

Acting Prosecutor Carroll would like to thank the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office’s Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit, the Township of Roxbury Police Department, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol – Criminal Investigations Division whose efforts contributed to the investigation and charges filed in Tennessee and New Jersey.  Prosecutor Carroll expressed his appreciation for this type of law enforcement cooperation, which he cited as an outstanding model of excellent inter-agency police work to identify and arrest this individual who evaded prosecution for over three decades.

Prosecutor Carroll especially commends Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Sergeant Anne-Marie Truppo, Roxbury Twp. PD Detective William Manisa, and Tennessee Highway Patrol Sergeant Jonathan Scott for their tenacious efforts in bringing this defendant to justice. Extradition proceedings will be commenced in the near future in Tennessee to return the defendant to face these criminal charges in New Jersey.

Anyone with information relating to these incidents or any related incident is asked to call Sergeant Anne-Marie Truppo of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office at (973) 285-6291 or Detective William Manisa of the Township of Roxbury Police Department at (973) 448-2050.

Editor’s Note: An arrest or the signing of a criminal complaint is merely an accusation.  Despite this accusation, the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until he or she has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.