Monday, December 12, 2016

N.J. child welfare worker indicted for extorting sex from mothers he supervised

By S.P. Sullivan | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com 
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on December 05, 2016 at 5:47 PM, updated December 05, 2016 at 5:48 PM
lamont_king.jpgLamont King, 40, of Trenton. 
TRENTON -- A former state family services worker has been indicted on charges that he used his position to extort sex from two mothers he supervised during their visitations with their children, authorities said.
Lamont King, of Trenton, was an assistant family services worker in the Division of Child Protection and Permanency at the state Department of Children and Families, where his duties included transporting parents and children to and from court-ordered visits and supervising them.
He faces charges including official misconduct, sexual assault, bribery and records tampering after a State Police investigation found he was pressuring vulnerable women into sex acts by threatening their custody of their children, according to the state Attorney General's Office.
Attorney General Christopher Porrino said Monday that King was "alleged to have ruthlessly exploited a mother's love for her children and his power over that emotionally charged relationship to coerce them into having sex with him."
"It's hard to imagine a more offensive abuse of authority," the attorney general said.
An attorney for King did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on the charges.
Worker charged with pressuring sex from mother
He was suspended from his $43,175-a-year-job.
King, 40, was charged in June and suspended from his $43,000-a-year public job after investigators allegedly found he had sex with a mother under his supervision on multiple occasions, kissing and groping the woman in his car and driving her to a Pennsylvania motel for another encounter.
The woman did not report the behavior because she feared speaking out would "negatively affect her visits with her children," according to a statement from Porrino's office.
After he was charged, investigators identified another woman who King allegedly pressured into sex while driving her to visits with her children, who were under foster care.
On one occasion, authorities claim, King told the woman he "had the power to allow the visits to be unsupervised" before unbuttoning his pants and placing her hand on his genitals.
Afterward, he allowed the woman to go to the mall with her children unsupervised, authorities said, again requesting sexual favors after dropping the kids off.
The mother told detectives she was afraid nobody would believe her if she reported King's behavior, and he allegedly went on to request oral sex from the woman on subsequent visits, authorities said.
In March of 2016, authorities claim King drove the woman to a park in his own car and began removing her pants and underwear and touching her inappropriately, but the woman refused his sexual advances. He allegedly never showed at her next scheduled visit, and the woman told her caseworker she didn't want King driving her anymore, the statement said.
"King's alleged abuse of position and authority to garner sexual favors from scared mothers terrified of losing custody of their children is absolutely sickening," Col. Rick Fuentes, the head of the State Police, said in the statement.
King was arrested on a warrant Friday and is being held at the Mercer County Jail on $75,000 bail awaiting a court hearing.
S.P. Sullivan may be reached at ssullivan@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/12/nj_child_welfare_worker_indicted_for_extorting_sex.html