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Northern State Corrections Officer Charged with Sexual Assault of Inmate


Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II, announced today that Avril D. Richardson, 45, of Elizabeth has been charged with second degree sexual assault for engaging in sexual conduct with an inmate at Northern State Prison, where she was employed as a senior correctional police officer.

Richardson was arrested yesterday at her Elizabeth home. Officials say she was detained at the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark but was scheduled to be released today, according to Assistant Prosecutor Jessica L. Apostolou, who is handling the case.

It is alleged that starting in 2016 until her arrest, Richardson had an ongoing romantic relationship with the victim.

The relationship came to light based on an investigation conducted by the New Jersey Department of Corrections Special Investigations Division.

Working in concert with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Professional Standards Bureau, she was arrested and charged.

Richardson is due back in court on Jan. 11, 2019 before the Honorable Mark S. Ali, Judge of the Superior Court.

These are accusations.

The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.