FREEHOLD – A local pulmonologist has been arrested and criminally charged with committing a series of sexual offenses against a juvenile, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Monday.
Cornelius Gallagher, 62, of Wall Township, is charged with two counts of first-degree Aggravated Sexual Assault and two counts of second-degree Sexual Assault.
An investigation by members of the Wall Township Police Department revealed that the alleged sexual abuse began nearly 20 years ago and continued for more than a decade at various locations within Wall Township.
Gallagher was arrested without incident late last week, then lodged in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) pending a detention hearing and first appearance tentatively scheduled to take place Wednesday, July 12 before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Paul X. Escandon.
Gallagher is a licensed pulmonologist with more than 20 years of practice and affiliations with three hospitals across Monmouth County; however, the charges being announced today are not connected with his interactions with any patient. Anyone with information about Gallagher’s activities is urged to contact Wall Township Police Department Detective Steve Swenson at 732-449-4500.
This case has been assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Danielle Zanzuccki, Director of the MCPO Special Victims Bureau. Gallagher is being represented by Suzanne Axel, Esq., with an office in Hackensack.
Convictions on first-degree criminal charges can be punishable by terms of up to 20 years in state prison.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendants have all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.