Thursday, April 26, 2012

New Jersey Officer Steven Vigorito Jr Charged with Texting Child Explicit Photos

A New Jersey police officer has been arrested and charged after he allegedly pursued sexual contact with a 12-year-old girl, texting her explicit photos of himself in uniform.

According to the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office, Woodland Park Police Officer Steven Vigorito Jr. was charged with attempted aggravated assault, luring and enticing a child, attempted endangering of a child, attempted sex assault and official misconduct.

Investigators said, Vigorito met the girl after responding to a domestic dispute at a home in Woodland Park on April 23. While at the scene, the officer gave the girl his personal cell phone number.

The 12-year-old victim immediately alerted her mother who in turn told authorities.

In the following days, detectives posed as the girl and reached out to Vigorito which prompted several explicit text messages from the 39-year-old officer, including photos where he's in uniform and exposing himself. Officials say some of the photos are believed to have been taken at the station house.

When Vigorito attempted to lure the girl to a location for sex, undercover officers went in and arrested him, officials said.

Vigorito, a 12-year veteran with the Woodland Park Police Department, was arrested Tuesday night while on duty. He was arraigned Wednesday and remains in custody with a $250,000 bond.

"The person called to assist the family, ended up preying on the family," Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes said a press conference Wednesday.

Vigorito has been suspended without pay.

PIX 11 News paid a visit to Vigorito's Woodland Park home Tuesday afternoon. Two women slammed the door at first and quickly closed the garage doors before coming back outside.

"He's not that kind of guy, he's a good guy, he's a clean guy," said a woman who wouldn't identify herself. The home had toys and children's games on the front lawn, and the woman was holding a young child.

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