FREEHOLD – A Manalapan Township Patrolman has been arrested and charged with engaging in a pattern of illegal behavior involving a teenage girl, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Thursday.
Kevin Ruditsky, 46, is charged with second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, second-degree Official Misconduct, third-degree Computer Theft, third-degree Hindering Apprehension, fourth-degree Stalking, and False Imprisonment, a disorderly persons offense.
An investigation by the MCPO Professional Responsibility Unit was initiated earlier this month upon receipt of information that Ruditsky had been sending inappropriate messages and photos to a 16-year-old girl. The investigation determined that the conduct began during Manalapan Township’s National Night Out event, part of an annual community outreach campaign in which numerous police departments countywide participated.
Ruditsky was in full uniform at the time, and after allowing the victim to sit in his patrol car, later that evening and in the days that followed, he began sending her sexually explicit messages and photos via social media – despite the victim having repeatedly informed him of her age. The investigation also determined that several days after National Night Out, while the victim was driving on Route 9, Ruditsky pulled her over, unlawfully handcuffed her, and attempted to kiss her while his dash camera and body-worn camera were both deactivated.
The investigation further revealed that Ruditsky conducted lookups of the victim in a law enforcement database, outside the purview of any legitimate law enforcement purpose, and on one occasion he parked his marked patrol vehicle outside of the victim’s home – after she had refused to provide him with her home address.
Ruditsky was arrested without incident yesterday and lodged in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) pending a first appearance to take place today.
“That a sworn member of law enforcement would begin to so egregiously violate the public’s trust while in uniform at an event specifically intended to strengthen trust between law enforcement and the public is, in a word, unconscionable,” Prosecutor Santiago said. “Swift action in addressing this conduct, culminating in the charges being announced today, was an absolute imperative.”
“The men and women of the Manalapan Township Police Department are and should be held to the highest moral and ethical standards, and it troubles me that the actions of one individual can stain the reputation of all of us. We are deeply saddened and disturbed that this victim had her trust betrayed by a man wearing one of our uniforms. I want to emphasize that this Department will continue to provide our community with the most professional service with integrity and compassion, as we have always done,” Township Police Chief Edward Niesz added. “We want our community to know that once the Manalapan Township Police Department became aware of the investigation into the conduct of Kevin Ruditsky, he was suspended, and upon being charged today, that suspension is without pay. The Department has fully cooperated and assisted the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office in this investigation from the onset and continues to support the Prosecutor’s Office through the arrest made yesterday. We will remain transparent and accountable to our community.”
This case is being prosecuted by MCPO Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the Professional Responsibility Unit. Ruditsky is being represented by Mitchell J. Ansell, with an office in Ocean Township. Anyone with information about this or related matters is urged to contact MCPO Detective Gregory Hilton II at 800-533-7443.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.