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Investigators: Correction Officer Posed As Cop To Coerce Prostitutes Into Having Sex

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Juan Stevens is accused of posing as a police officer in order to coerce prostitutes into having sex with him for free. (Office of the Attorney General, New Jersey) Juan Stevens is accused of posing as a police officer in order to coerce prostitutes into having sex with him for free. (Office of the Attorney General, New Jersey)
TRENTON, N.J. -

A New Jersey state correction officer arrested Thursday by State Police is accused of posing as a police officer in order to coerce prostitutes into having sex with him for free, state investigators said.

According to Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa, the correction officer from Burlington County allegedly identified himself as a police officer to at least four prostitutes. Investigators say he coerced them to either have sex with him for free or at a discount.

The correction officer, 50-year-old Juan Stevens, faces second degree sexual assault and third degree criminal restraint charges. Stevens is a senior correction officer assigned to a facility in Trenton. According to investigators, the alleged crimes go back to September 2011.

Attorney General Chiesa in a statement called the alleged crimes a betrayal of the public's trust.

"We allege that by posing as a police officer and coercing victims into having sex with him, this defendant committed serious crimes and betrayed the public's trust, as well as the honor of the badge he does carry, that of state correction officer," Chiesa said in the statement.

"We have zero tolerance for such corrupt conduct."

Investigators say the officer used the name "Rick" or "Rich," and would allegedly call the women who advertised their services online as adult escorts. The alleged meetings were arranged at hotels in Burlington County or in Philadelphia.

Investigators say he would show what appeared to be a law enforcement badge, in most cases, causing the women to fear being arrested. Investigators say he would even sometimes wear handcuffs on the back of his pants.

Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice says the investigation is ongoing.

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