A Glen Rock detective whose job centered on protecting children was arrested Wednesday, accused of sending naked photos of himself to a 14-year-old girl and sexually explicit text messages to another teenage girl, both of whom had been under his supervision, authorities said.
Detective Sgt. Eric Reamy, 51, the borough’s juvenile officer, was arrested at his home in Fair Lawn following a one-month investigation that began when the mother of a 17-year-old girl went to Glen Rock police after finding “inappropriate” messages from the detective on her daughter’s cellphone, Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said.
The investigation led police to a 14-year-old girl who recently moved with her family to Texas, and whose phone was examined Tuesday by Bergen County detectives who traveled there to interview her and her parents, the prosecutor said. Reamy had persuaded the girl to send him naked photos of herself and had sent her “two naked photos of his private part,” Molinelli said.
Reamy has been charged with five counts of endangering the welfare of a child, including one first-degree count, Molinelli said.
Authorities are still investigating the case to determine whether other charges will be filed, the prosecutor said, adding that they plan to reach out to other juveniles involved in cases handled by Reamy to determine whether there are other victims.
“We will most definitely be reviewing every juvenile this sergeant had contact with in Glen Rock,” Molinelli said.
On Wednesday evening, a 17-year-old girl identified herself via her Twitter account as the older alleged victim, declaring: “That 17 year old girl was me,” and she expressed anger about local police.
She also tweeted alarm that the accused had made bail “and got out of jail after what he did to me and lives in my town. How am I going to bd [sic]”
Late Wednesday, she spoke with a Record reporter by phone. She said only that she was a high school student and that her family had retained an attorney and that she could not comment further, on his advice.
She said the family might release a statement through the lawyer, but she was not sure.
A Record request to speak to her parents was not answered at press time.
The Twitter posts were taken down shortly before midnight Wednesday.
Both girls had been the subject of complaints in juvenile matters that Reamy had been investigating and were considered to be under his supervision, Molinelli said, adding that he does not know the nature of those investigations. He said that complaints against the girls were being handled in what is known as a stationhouse adjustment, a process that typically involves no formal charges.
Reamy, a married father of three, was set to retire at the end of the month after 27 years with the Glen Rock Police Department, where he headed the two-man detective unit and once worked as the department’s K-9 officer. He also is a firefighter and former chief with the Fair Lawn Fire Department. He was on leave from the Glen Rock police for the past few weeks as he used up accrued time off, authorities said.
In 2009, Reamy was part of a police effort to educate children in Glen Rock about the dangers of sending photographs over cellphones after a middle school girl sent a nude picture of herself that was shared by other students. Police noted that she was at a vulnerable age. “What matters is the age of the child,” Reamy told The Record at the time.
Reamy was being held on Wednesday at the Bergen County Jail on $250,000 bail, Molinelli said. However, the jail’s online records did not show him as being there. Reamy did not answer his phone, and no one came to the door of his home in Fair Lawn on Wednesday evening.
Molinelli said that authorities “wanted to move very quickly” to make the arrest after detectives interviewed the 14-year-old girl on Tuesday. He said police first became aware she was a victim about one week ago as they investigated the allegations brought to them by the 17-year-old’s mother.
Reamy had been in contact with both girls “via electronic communications” and “convinced the victims to engage in sexually explicit dialogue,” Molinelli said. He said that authorities do not believe either girl was physically abused.
Glen Rock residents interviewed on Wednesday said that the allegations against Reamy were “awful” and “very bad,” adding that, if they are true, they indicate that the officer abused his position. None of the 17 residents approached by The Record would provide his or her name.