Former Sea Bright police officer, Erich A. Bennett, 47, pleaded guilty in Monmouth County Superior Court to charges including computer theft, criminal mischief, stalking, and hindering apprehension. The guilty plea was announced by Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond Santiago on Wednesday.
Bennett admitted to disabling security cameras, slashing tires, and keying the car of the victim’s home between October 2022 and January of this year. He also confessed to driving by the woman’s residence and making threats of physical harm both in-person and online, using a fake social media account. Additionally, while still employed as a police officer, Bennett conducted over 30 unauthorized searches for the victim in law enforcement databases.
Following his arrest in January, Bennett permanently forfeited his right to hold any public office statewide and was required to surrender his privately owned firearms. He also received a permanent restraining order prohibiting contact with the victim and was ordered to reimburse her for property damages amounting to nearly $4,800. Prosecutors plan to recommend a prison term of five years at Bennett’s sentencing on November 3.
As of Wednesday, Bennett remains in custody at Monmouth County Jail pending further court proceedings.