FLEMINGTON, NJ – A Readington man has pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual assault in a case that began with a missing teenager, according to a press release this morning from Acting Hunterdon County Prosecutor Michael J. Williams.

Darren Pieper was arrested at his home in May after police said they found a “runaway juvenile” hiding inside a van parked at the back of his property, police said. At that time, police said he and his wife – Tracy Pieper – “were providing false information and obstructing the officers’ attempts” to locate the missing person.

Darren Piper was arrested in June on possession of child pornography charges, and again in July on sexual assault charges that involved three different juvenile victims, officials said.

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The arrests were the result of an investigation by the Hunterdon Prosecutor’s Special Victims Unit and police from Readington and Raritan Township, Williams said, and the investigation revealed that Pieper had engaged in sexual conduct with victims between the ages of 13 and 16 years of age. 

Piper pleaded guilty yesterday to second-degree sexual assault and is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 8 by Judge Angela F. Borkowski.

“This result would not have been possible without the incredible efforts of the Special Victims Unit and the aggressive dedication of the forensic laboratory,” Williams said in the statement. The lab reviewed “hundreds of thousands of items of digital evidence and identified the victims,” he said. “We are committed to pursuing justice for victims of sexual assault where legally able to do so.”