Wall man gets 10-year prison term for sexual assault of probationer

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Henry C. Cirignano, a former probation officer, in court at the Ocean County Courthouse in Toms River, on Jan. 3, 2020. DANIELLA HEMINGHAUS THE COAST STAR

FREEHOLD – A former Monmouth County probation officer was sentenced on Jan. 14 to 10 years in state prison after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a woman he supervised,and for making false representations to the court.

Henry C. Cirignano, 48, of Wall Township, an 18-year veteran of the New Jersey State Probation Department, was sentenced by Ocean County Presiding Criminal Court Judge Wendel E. Daniels in Toms River, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.

Mr. Cirignano pleaded guilty on Feb. 24, 2020, to three counts of  sexual assault by coercion, and one count of official misconduct.

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 Mr. Cirignano was arrested in Feb. 4, 2019, and charged with the sexual assault of a 23-year-old woman he supervised on drug court probation.  An investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office revealed that between August 2016 and January 2019, he engaged in sexual activity with the female probationer while she was under his supervision, the prosecutor said.    

Evidence gathered in the investigation revealed Mr. Cirignano had threatened to create false probation violations resulting in incarceration unless the victim provided sexual favors to him, the prosecutor said, and his sexual assaults upon the victim were frequent and repetitive.  Mr. Cirignano also repeatedly lied to the drug court judge presiding over his victim’s case, providing false excuses for the victim’s failure to appear in court, the prosecutor said.

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