NJ State Police sergeant from Howell accused of sexual contact with 14-year-old girl


A New Jersey State Police sergeant from Howell has been charged with four separate offenses for allegedly touching the breast of a 14-year-old girl and giving her alcohol during a wrestling tournament weekend in State College, Pennsylvania, in April.

Sgt. 1st Class David DeJesus, 45, has been suspended without pay as a result of the charges, Sgt. 1st Class Lawrence Peele, spokesman for the New Jersey State Police, said.

State College Borough police went to the Ramada Inn Hotel Conference Center on South Atherton Street shortly after 8 p.m. on April 22 to investigate allegations of sexual contact with a 14-year-old New Jersey girl.

The girl told police when they interviewed her in May that she was in town to attend a wrestling tournament with her father.

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She was asked by a friend to go over to the Ramada to go swimming that Friday evening, she told police. DeJesus was staying at the Ramada as were other wrestling families. The girl and her father were at another hotel.

While swimming, the girl saw DeJesus sitting next to the pool with an alcoholic beverage. She went and sat next to him and asked for a drink, according to her account in an affidavit of probable cause.

DeJesus allegedly told her she could have a drink, but cautioned her not to tell anyone, she told police. She tried the drink, didn’t like it and grabbed a bottle of beer that DeJesus allowed her to have, according the affidavit.

She mentioned to a friend, a boy, that she was going to DeJesus’ room “to use the bathroom and hang out,” according to the affidavit. After the boy, now a witness, noticed that she had a beer, he changed in DeJesus’ room and left.

When DeJesus arrived, he started asking the girl “weird questions,” insisting that she was 18, the girl told police. She told DeJesus that she was 14 and went to school with DeJesus’ daughter.

She told police DeJesus was drunk, as he was at poolside.

He mentioned her breasts then stuck his hand down her bikini top and touched her bare breast, according to the affidavit.

She pulled his hand out and went into the bathroom, she told police. He told her to calm down, keep drinking and come out of the room a few minutes after he did so “nobody would think anything happened,” according to the affidavit.

DeJesus was arrested June 28 and charged with unlawful contact with a minor, two counts of indecent assault and giving alcohol to a minor.

DeJesus’ attorney, Steven Paul Trialonas of State College, did not immediately return a call.

The 17-year New Jersey State police veteran was making a salary of $132,500 at the end of 2021, according to DataUniverse.

Following his June 28 arrest, DeJesus was released on $27,500 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 13.

Ken Serrano covers crime, breaking news, local issues and investigations. Reach him at 732-643-4029 or kserrano@gannettnj.com.

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: NJ state trooper accused of sexual contact with teen girl