ROXBURY, NJ – While living in Roxbury in the 1980s, a Tennessee man engaged in “multiple sexual acts” with two children as young as 10 years old, according to authorities.
The man, Richard Ziegler, 70, was charged with first-degree Aggravated Sexual Assault, three counts of second-degree Sexual Assault; third-degree Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact and two counts of second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, said the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.
Authorities said Ziegler committed the illegal sex acts between Dec. 1, 1981 and May 31, 1987 in Roxbury. They said Ziegler was living with the victims and “had assumed responsibility” for their care.
“One victim was between the ages of 10 and 12 when the acts occurred, and the other victim was between the ages of 10 and 15,” said the prosecutor’s office.
It said Ziegler was recently found in Tennessee by the Tennessee Highway Patrol -Criminal Investigations Division.
“Their investigation alleged that the defendant had falsified documents to obtain a driver’s license in Tennessee under an assumed identity,” said the prosecutor’s office. “During the investigation into the defendant’s identity, Tennessee officials became aware of the allegations against the defendant for sexual assault in New Jersey, and notified the Township of Roxbury Police Department and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.”
Ziegler was also charged in Tennessee with Aggravated Perjury, a Class D felony, and Driver’s License Fraud, a Class A misdemeanor, said the prosecutor’s office.
Morris County Prosecutor Robert Carroll thanked all the agencies involved in the investigation, but specially credited It credited Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Sergeant Anne-Marie Truppo, Roxbury Police Detective William Manisa and Tennessee Highway Patrol Sgt. Jonathan Scott “for their tenacious efforts in bringing this defendant to justice.”
He cited the case as “an outstanding model of excellent inter-agency police work to identify and arrest this individual who evaded prosecution for over three decades.”
The prosecutor’s office said extradition proceedings will take place soon in Tennessee seeking the return of Ziegler to New Jersey for prosecution.
Anyone with information about Ziegler’s activities is asked to call Truppo at 973-285-6291 or Manisa at 973-448-2050.