FREEHOLD – A former Monmouth County probation officer will spend 10 years in State Prison having been sentenced today for sexually assaulting a woman he supervised on Drug Court probation.
He was also charged and convicted of making false representations to the Court according to Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni who made the announcement this afternoon that Henry C. Cirignano, 48, of Wall Township, an 18-year veteran of the New Jersey State Probation Department in the Vicinage of Monmouth, was sentenced to 10 years in a New Jersey state prison by Ocean County Presiding Criminal Court Judge Wendel E. Daniels in Toms River.
Cirignano must serve six years, nine months and 20 days before becoming eligible for any release on parole and he will also be subject to parole supervision for life, required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law.
He also faces a lifetime ban on public employment in the State of New Jersey, as well as forfeiture of his benefits.
Cirignano pled guilty on February 24, 2020 before Judge Daniels to three counts of second degree Sexual Assault by Coercion, and one count of second degree Official Misconduct. He was arrested in February 2019 and charged with the sexual assault of a 23-year-old woman he supervised on Drug Court probation.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office conducted an investigation that revealed that between August 2016 and January 2019, Cirignano 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.
According to evidence gathered in the investigation Cirignano threatened to create false probation violations resulting in incarceration unless the victim provided sexual favors to him. Cirignano’s sexual assaults upon the victim were frequent and repetitive. He also lied repeatedly to the Drug Court judge presiding over his victim’s case providing false excuses for the victim’s failure to appear in court.
Gramiccioni said, “Cirignano’s actions represent the worst type of predatory behavior. He trampled upon the oath he took as a public servant, and abused his power by forcing the victim to provide sexual favors, extorting her with threats of incarceration if she refused.”
“Thankfully, he will serve a significant jail sentence, be registered as a sex offender, and never hold a public job again,” the Prosecutor said.
Cirignano remains in the Ocean County Correctional Institution where he has been since his arrest on February 4, 2019.
Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Thomas Fichter and Kristen Anastos handled this case. Cirignano is represented by Ocean Township attorney Mitchell Ansell.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the leadership of Prosecutor Gramiccioni, 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 at: email@example.com write “Corruption/Misconduct Tip” in the subject line.