SEA BRIGHT – A former Sea Bright Police Officer has admitted to committing several crimes against an ex-girlfriend throughout a four-month period, officials said.
Erich A. Bennett, 47, pled guilty to third-degree Computer Theft, third-degree Criminal Mischief, fourth-degree Hindering Apprehension, and fourth-degree Stalking.
Between October 2022 and January 2023, police said he put the victim in fear by disabling security cameras on the exterior of her home and causing damage to her property by slashing her tires and keying her car.
He also admitted to driving by her home and threatening her with physical harm, both in person and via a fake social media account.
Additionally, Bennett stated that while he was on duty with the Sea Bright Police Department, he conducted unauthorized lookups of the victim and four of her associates in law enforcement databases.
Bennett was arrested without incident in late January 2023. He currently remains incarcerated at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) pending future court proceedings.
As a result of his plea, Bennett permanently forfeited the right to hold any public office in the State of New Jersey.
Sentencing in the case has been tentatively scheduled for November 3, at which time the State intends to recommend a sentence of five years in state prison. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Bennett would also have to submit to surrender his privately owned firearms, and a permanent restraining order barring him from contact with the victim, and restitution in the amount of nearly $4,800.