A former cop in Monmouth County is headed to jail for crimes he committed against an ex-girlfriend.

Earlier this year, 47-year-old Erich A. Bennett, who worked as an officer with the Sea Bright Police Department, admitted to charges of computer theft, criminal mischief, hindering apprehension, and stalking.

This past Friday, he was sentenced to five years in prison.

Additionally, he can never again serve in public office in the state, he must surrender all privately-owned firearms, he is under a permanent restraining order barring him from ever again contacting the victim, and he must pay $4,800 in restitution.

The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office says during a plea hearing, Bennett acknowledged that between October 2022 and January 2023, he engaged in a course of conduct that put the victim in fear, including the following:

  • Disabling security cameras on the exterior of her home
  • Slashing her car tires and keying her car
  • Driving by her home and threatening her with physical harm, including sexual mutilation, both in person and via a fake social media account

Bennett also stated that while on duty with the Sea Bright Police Department, he conducted unauthorized lookups of the victim and four of her associates in law enforcement databases.

Bennett was arrested without incident in late January.

The victim was present for the sentencing hearing and read a statement into the record.

Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond Santiago said in a press release,

This defendant swore an oath to keep the public safe from individuals capable of the type of conduct he ultimately committed, marking an egregious betrayal of the public’s trust. We strongly commend the victim’s courage and fortitude in this matter.

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