For Immediate Release: October 7, 2022
Office of Public Integrity and Accountability
– Thomas J. Eicher, Executive Director
Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office
– Renée M. Robeson, Prosecutor
FLEMINGTON — The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) and Hunterdon County Prosecutor Renée M. Robeson today announced that a Hunterdon County Grand Jury indicted a former Senior Corrections Officer at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women in connection with the sexual assault of a female inmate at the facility.
The grand jury returned a three-count indictment against Tyrell Harris-McLaughlin, 29, of Jersey City, on September 29, 2022. He was indicted on one count of second-degree sexual assault, one count of second-degree official misconduct, and one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact.
Harris-McLaughlin was charged in October 2021 in connection with the sexual assault of a female inmate over whom he had supervisory and disciplinary power by virtue of his position as a correctional officer at the prison in Union Township, Hunterdon County. The charges stemmed from a joint investigation by the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Victims Unit, OPIA, and the Department of Corrections Special Investigations Division.
“The allegations in this indictment are among the most egregious possible abuses of the badge, and the credibility and public trust that come with it,” said Thomas Eicher, Executive Director of OPIA. “Abuses allegedly committed against someone vulnerable, someone in this officer’s care, and someone who would’ve encountered many challenges and risks when she came forward.”
“The Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office is committed to providing the highest standards of public service through effective investigations and prosecutions aimed at ensuring justice for all,” said Hunterdon County Prosecutor Renée M. Robeson. “When those entrusted to serve the public are alleged to have violated their oath, we will thoroughly and objectively carry out our commitment to seek justice. Our office will continue to work with the Attorney General’s Office and other law enforcement partners in our ongoing mission to create a safe environment for everyone in Hunterdon County.”
Despite having been indicted, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.