FREEHOLD – An Ocean County Grand Jury has returned a seventeen-count Indictment against a Monmouth County Probation Officer, charging him with multiple offenses including sexual assault, witness tampering, and making terroristic threats, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Henry C. Cirignano, 48, of Adams Street in Wall Township, is charged in the Indictment with six counts of second degree Sexual Assault, Witness Tampering, one count of second degree Pattern of Official Misconduct, four counts of second degree Official Misconduct, one count of third degree Terroristic Threats, one count of third degree Criminal Coercion, one count of first degree Tampering with a Witness or Informant, and two counts of fourth degree Criminal Coercion. Cirignano is also charged with fourth degree Contempt of Court for violating a no witness contact provision in a Pre-Trial Release Order.
Cirignano was arrested in February 2019 and charged with the sexual assault of a 23-year-old woman he supervised on probation. An investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office revealed that between August 2016 and January 2019, Cirignano repeatedly 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.
Evidence gathered in the investigation revealed that Cirignano had threatened to create false probation violations that would have resulted in the victim’s incarceration unless she provided sexual favors to him. Cirignano’s sexual assaults upon the victim were frequent and repetitive, occurring in three separate locations where the victim was residing during the period of probation supervision.
If convicted of a first degree crime, Cirignano faces up to 20 years in a New Jersey state prison, subject to the provisions of the "No Early Release Act" (NERA) requiring him to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole. He would also be under parole supervision for five years following his release from state prison.
If convicted of Sexual Assault, Cirignano faces up to 10 years in a New Jersey state prison on each count, subject to the provisions of the “No Early Release Act” (NERA) requiring him to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole. He would also be subject to the provisions of “Megan’s Law” and Parole Supervision for Life requiring a minimum of 15 years of parole supervision following his release from prison. A third degree conviction carries a custodial sentence of up to five years in prison on each count.
Anyone with additional information is urged to contact Detective Jose Cruz and Detective Michael Acquaviva at 1-800-533-7443.
Anyone who feels the need to remain anonymous but has information about a crime can contact Monmouth County Crime Stoppers confidential telephone tip-line by calling 1-800-671-4400; can text "MONMOUTH” plus their tip to 274637; or, they can email a tip via the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com. Monmouth County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of criminals and fugitives.
Cirignano has remained held in the Ocean County Correctional Institution since his arrest on February 4, 2019.
The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Fichter.
Cirignano is represented by Mitchell J. Ansell, Esq. of Ocean Township
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.
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.