Pubdate: Wed, 23 Nov 2005
Source: Tri-Town News (NJ)
Address: Greater Media Newspapers, PO 5001, Freehold, NJ, 07728
Copyright: 2005 Greater Media Newspapers
Author: Joyce Blay


Woman Claims Detective Sexually Assaulted Her; Says She Is Pregnant

An attorney representing a female Jackson police informant has filed 
notice that the woman intends to sue Jackson Township for $10 million.

The letter of tort claim notice, signed by attorney Robert F. Varady, 
of the firm La Corte, Bundy, Varady and Kinsella, Union, is required 
under the New Jersey Tort Claims Act prior to the filing of legal 
papers, according to the letter.

Jackson's township attorney, Kevin Starkey, was not available and did 
not return calls for comment made to his office and home on Nov. 19.

Varady stated in the letter that the woman would be filing her suit 
against the township; its police department; Public Safety Director 
Samuel DePasquale, who will be retiring at the end of the year; his 
successor, interim public safety director Capt. Christopher Dunton, 
whose name was incorrectly stated in the notice of tort claim as 
Draton; Lt. Detective John Siedler; Detective Sgt. Denis Campbell; 
and the focus of her allegation, Narcotics Detective Anthony Senatore.

The letter went on to describe an alleged relationship between the 
woman and Senatore that will be the basis for her legal action.

"This claim rises from a series of incidents involving the 
aforementioned police officers and public officials in which the 
claimant was recruited to be a confidential informant to assist the 
township and its police department in investigating and prosecuting 
drug dealers in Jackson," the letter states.

Varady said in the letter that Senatore, while in the course of his 
duties as a police officer, entered into a sexual relationship with 
the woman. However, according to the letter, the relationship became violent.

"Detective Senatore sexually assaulted the claimant," Varady said in 
the letter. "The other named police officers were aware of Detective 
Senatore's conduct and refused to report said conduct nor prevent 
Detective Senatore from continuing said conduct."

Varady said the woman claimed negligence against all parties named in 
the notice of tort claim as well as the violation of her constitutional rights.

She also alleged negligent hiring, negligent training and a 
deliberate indifference to her constitutional rights as exhibited by 
the practices, policies, procedures and lack thereof by the township, 
its officials and supervisory officials of the police department and 
its director, DePasquale.

Varady said in the letter that the woman had suffered injury from the 
sexual assault, mental distress, a violation of her constitutional 
rights and was fearful of Jackson police in general.

"In addition to the mental and physical abuse, Detective Senatore has 
impregnated plaintiff and she will make a claim against all named 
persons in this notice of claim for any and all medical costs 
associated with said pregnancy and for support for the health, 
education and welfare of said child," the letter states.

Varady also said in the letter that in addition to township personnel 
named in the claim, other individuals might be named in the course of 
the investigation and through the legal process of discovery.

"As of the date of this claim, claimant has suffered and sustained 
accumulating loss of damages and will be required to spend money in 
the future for hospital bills, doctor bills for pregnancy and care 
for her and her infant, along with general damages for pain, 
suffering and disability. By reason of the above, the claimant claims 
damages in the amount of $10,000,000."

Varady said in the letter that copies had been sent to Starkey, 
DePasquale, Dunton, whose name continued to be misidentified as 
Draton throughout the letter, Siedler, Campbell and Senatore.

On Nov. 1, representatives of the state Attorney General's Office 
served and executed a search warrant on the Jackson Police 
Department, according to a press release faxed to a reporter by Capt. 
David Newman. The press release stated that the investigation 
concerned the alleged misconduct of one police officer, but did not 
name Senatore.

That investigation is still ongoing, according to Township 
Committeeman Mark Seda.

"It's my understanding that the state Attorney General's Office is 
close to finishing their investigation," Seda said on Nov. 18. "It 
would be premature for me to comment at this time."

Seda confirmed that the search warrant executed on the police 
department was based on actions attributed to Senatore that were 
subsequently described in the notice of tort claim.

"There was a notice sent to the police department to put the town on 
notice that a suit would be filed," he said.

Messages requesting comment were not returned by DePasquale, Siedler 
or Senatore.

Dunton and Campbell responded to the Tri-Town News.

Dunton also confirmed that the matter was still under investigation 
by the Attorney General's Office.

"We've been provided no additional information," he said Monday. "The 
statements made in the letter were pretty outrageous. The first 
anybody in this agency was made aware (of the allegations) was when 
we were served with a search warrant on Nov. 1. The allegations were 
never brought to us (by the claimant). Why was it taken to the 
Attorney General's Office first?"

Campbell said he could not confirm or deny that Senatore was out on 
stress leave since the execution of the warrant earlier this month. 
He also indicated it was no surprise that Senatore's co-workers and 
supervisors were named in the notice of tort claim as well.

"I'm in the detective bureau, he's in the detective bureau," Campbell 
said. "I'm a detective, he's a detective and the rest is a chain of command."
- ---
MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman