Police Officer Admits Using His Job to Sexually Assault Teen

Ralph Pereira faces a five-year prison term when he's sentenced July 1

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NBC 10

A southern New Jersey police officer has admitted using his job to sexually assault a teenage girl.

Atlantic County prosecutors announced Sunday that 45-year-old Ralph Pereira pleaded guilty Friday to official misconduct and sexual assault charges. He faces a five-year prison term when he's sentenced July 1 and will have to register as a sex offender.

The 10-year veteran of the Brigantine police force has been suspended without pay since his arrest in May 2014. Officials there say they will move to fire Pereira now that he's pleaded guilty.

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Pereira and a former Atlantic City officer were both accused of having a sexual relationship with the 16-year-old victim. The other officer pleaded guilty last year and is now serving a prison term.

Prosecutors have said Pereira held a position of authority and had disciplinary power over the teen.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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