A Monmouth County Corrections Officer is facing charges for fraternizing with an inmate at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold.

Thomas Mauro, 41, of Beachwood is charged with second degree Official Misconduct and fourth degree Criminal Sexual Contact for engaging in a romantic relationship in the facilities latrine.

“Law enforcement officers are sworn to uphold the law in every way. As a corrections officer, Mr. Mauro exercises supervisory powers over an inmate. The conduct, as alleged, is an exploitative abuse of an officer’s sworn authority and will not be tolerated. We will continue to hold every law enforcement officer to the highest standards with no distinction between their roles in the system,” Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni said.

In April, the 31-year-old female inmate from Neptune City was seen entering a bathroom at the correctional facility reserved for the exclusive use of MCCI staff.

Moments later, Mauro allegedly followed her into the same bathroom.

While in the bathroom, Mauro engaged in various forms of sexual contact with the inmate before they each exited the bathroom separately.

The investigation revealed that Mauro and the woman met during a previous incarceration at MCCI and, beginning in 2013, entered into a sexual relationship while she was not an inmate at the facility.

While the relationship ended later in 2013, Mauro is accused of engaging in the charged criminal activity on April 27, 2019, while the woman was once again incarcerated at MCCI.

“These type of acts will not be tolerated at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, and, if the allegations are found to be true, the officer will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden said. “The safety of the inmates at the correctional facility is of the utmost importance. Any member of law enforcement found guilty of violating the oath they swore to uphold, will be held accountable.”

If convicted of Official Misconduct, Mauro faces a mandatory sentence of five years in a New Jersey state prison without parole, a lifetime ban on public employment in the State of New Jersey, and forfeiture of his benefits.

If convicted of Criminal Sexual Contact, Mauro faces up to 18 months in state prison.

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the Office’s Professional Responsibilities and Bias Crime Unit.

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