FREEHOLD – Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced on January 7 that an Ocean County Grand Jury had returned a 17-count indictment against a Monmouth County Probation Officer, charging him with multiple offenses including sexual assault, witness tampering, and making terroristic threats.
Henry C. Cirignano, 48, of Adams Street in Wall Township, is charged in the indictment with six counts of second degree sexual assault, witness tampering, one count of second degree pattern of official misconduct, four counts of second degree Official misconduct, one count of third degree Terroristic Threats, one count of third degree criminal coercion, one count of first degree tampering with a witness or informant, and two counts of fourth degree criminal coercion.
Cirignano was also charged with fourth degree contempt of court for violating a no witness contact provision in a pre-trial release order. He was arrested in February 2019 and charged with the sexual assault of a 23-year-old woman he supervised on probation.
During an investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office it was discovered that between August 2016 and January 2019, Cirignano repeatedly engaged in sexual activity with the female probationer while she was under his supervision.
Further investigation led to the filing of additional charges, including charges of official misconduct, after it was determined that he misused his official position to conceal his illicit activities over that same period of time. Evidence gathered in the investigation revealed that Cirignano had threatened to create false probation violations that would have resulted in the victim’s incarceration unless she provided sexual favors to him.
Cirignano’s sexual assaults upon the victim were frequent and repetitive, occurring in three separate locations where the victim was residing during the period of probation supervision.
If Cirignano is convicted of a first-degree crime, he will face up to 20 years in a New Jersey state prison, subject to the provisions of the “No Early Release Act” (NERA).
The NERA requires him to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole. He would also be under parole supervision for five years following his release from state prison.
If Cirignano is convicted of sexual assault, he faces up to 10 years in a New Jersey state prison on each count, subject to the provisions of the “No Early Release Act” (NERA) requiring him to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole.
Cirignano would also be subject to the provisions of “Megan’s Law” and parole supervision for life requiring a minimum of 15 years of parole supervision following his release from prison.
A third-degree conviction carries a custodial sentence of up to five years in prison on each count.
Investigators are urging anyone with additional information to contact Detective Jose Cruz and Detective Michael Acquaviva at 1-800-533-7443. Those who feel the need to remain anonymous but has information about a crime can contact Monmouth County Crime Stoppers confidential telephone tip-line by calling 1-800-671-4400; can text “MONMOUTH” plus their tip to 274637; or, they can email a tip via the website at monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com. Monmouth County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of criminals and fugitives.
Cirignano has remained lodged in the Ocean County Correctional Institution since his arrest on February 4, 2019. He is represented by attorney Mitchell J. Ansellof Ocean Township.
The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Fichter.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office instituted a corruption tip line, designed to solicit the public’s assistance in identifying and targeting corruption, fraud and misconduct occurring in local governmental agencies.
Citizens may report concerns via the following: Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Corruption Tip Line – 855-7-UNJUST (855 786-5878); or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org write “Corruption/Misconduct Tip” in the subject line.