NEWARK — A city police officer was charged with sexually assaulting a woman on police property, authorities said Wednesday.Kenneth Gaulette, 33, of Manalapan, allegedly forced the 40-year-old woman to engage in a sex act while on police property Nov. 29, 2015, according to a statement from Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray’s office.
Gaulette is also accused of criminal coercion for suggesting the woman “would receive favorable treatment from law enforcement if she performed the sex act,” Murray’s statement added.
Gaulette served with the Newark police department for nine years and was previously assigned as a detective, officials said. He was laid off in 2010, but was rehired by the force in 2012.
In a statement, Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said he would suspend Gaulette without pay in light of the arrest.
Newark Fraternal Order of Police President James Stewart Jr. described Gaulette as an “exemplary police officer” before he was laid off and after he returned to the department.
“These allegations have turned his life, and the lives of his family, upside down. He looks forward to his day in court and he has our support as he and his attorney prepares his defense,” Stewart added.
According to prosecutors, Gaulette turned himself in Wednesday with his attorney and posted $75,000 bail. The name of his lawyer was not immediately available. Gaulette could not be reached for comment.
The prosecutor’s office did not release further details on the alleged assault.