UNION COUNTY, NJ - Lawrence Bethke, 39, of Roselle has been charged with second-degree official misconduct and third-degree aggravated assault after a Union County grand jury returned a two-count indictment. 

Bethke a corrections officer was charged in connection with the physical assault of a Union County Jail inmate last year,  according to acting Union County Prosecutor Thomas K. Isenhour. 

On Saturday, June 18, Bethke and an inmate engaged in a verbal dispute that escalated to violence, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Robert Rosenthal, who is prosecuting the case. 

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The matter was investigated by the Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Unit and the Union County Police Department.  Convictions on second-degree criminal charges are commonly punishable by 5 to 10 years in state prison. 

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