ACPO STATEMENT ON INVESTIGATIONS OF ALLEGED SEXUAL ASSAULTS OF STOCKTON UNIVERSITY STUDENTS


MAYS LANDING- In an effort to maintain law enforcement’s transparency that is paramount to the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, it is our responsibility to address concerns raised by the public and the media as to our capacity to adequately investigate the alleged sexual assaults at Stockton University. ACPO has informed the state New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and the state Division of Criminal Justice of the potential conflicts of interest.

There have been four (4) civil suits filed against Stockton University regarding alleged sexual assaults by individuals who were members of an unauthorized/unaffiliated off campus fraternity. Of the four, the two most recent matters are being investigated by Galloway Twp. Police Department. One incident was never reported to any law enforcement agency and the earliest incident was reported on February 15, 2017, and charged on April 17, 2018, by the Stockton University Police Department as an Invasion of Privacy, based upon the facts of the case.  The length of time that is required to charge an alleged sexual assault case is attributed to the wait for the DNA lab reports.  After receiving the initial DNA reports in November 2017, ACPO sought and obtained a court order for buccal swabs from the defendant on January 10, 2018.  The lab reports from the buccal swabs were not received until March 22, 2018.  The matter is still being actively investigated and a decision will be made as to what charges will be presented to the Grand Jury in the near future.

In addition to the ongoing investigation ACPO identified two potential conflicts of interest. As with any potential conflict of interest, ACPO has countermeasures in place to protect the public.

The two potential conflicts of interest include the following:

This incident occurred and was reported approximately one month prior to Prosecutor Tyner’s swearing in as the County Prosecutor. Prosecutor Tyner’s wife, Dr. Nicole Milan-Tyner, has been employed by Stockton University since 2013, and currently serves as the Associate Director of the Career Center.  As a result Prosecutor Tyner has not had any involvement in the investigation or charging decision in these matters.  Matters that have been identified as conflicts for Prosecutor Tyner are handled by First Assistant Prosecutor Cary Shill.  Assistant Prosecutor Aaron Witherspoon is assigned to the Stockton University matter.

Additionally, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Danielle Buckley, is the head of the ACPO Special Victims Unit. Chief Assistant Prosecutor Buckley’s father is Dr. Harvey Kesselman, the President of Stockton University.  Chief Assistant Prosecutor Buckley has NEVER participated in these matters and during her tenure with the office has never participated in other matters that involved Stockton University.  Furthermore, she was only recently promoted to Chief Assistant Prosecutor of the Special Victims Unit on July 2, 2018.  It is important to note that Assistant Prosecutor Witherspoon is not under her supervision and reports directly to First Assistant Prosecutor Cary Shill.

Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at http://www.acpo.org/tips.html and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at http://www.crimestoppersatlantic.com/. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.

 

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