Man recounts alleged rape ordeal by former New Jersey sheriff to jury after more than 30 years
After more than 30 years, a man who says he was raped as a child by a powerful New Jersey sheriff finally got the chance to tell his story in court.
The victim, identified only as W.M., told jurors that former Warren County Sheriff Edward Bullock picked him up from the Hackettstown Police Department in 1988 to transport him to the county’s youth shelter. He says on the way there, Bullock drove to a secluded spot, where he sexually assaulted him.
“I remember, just, pain,” W.M. said. “I remember it hurt. I remember I just wanted it to end. I don’t know how long it lasted. It just went on. It went on forever”.
He says the next day, he tried to report the rape to a worker at the shelter, only to be met with a violent response.
“I said, ‘the sheriff raped me’ and he snatched me off the top bunk… and he punched me in the stomach,” W.M. testified. “And he said don’t ever ‘F—ing say those things again. The message was clear. He was telling me not to speak about it. he was telling me to keep my mouth shut”.
News 12 New Jersey’s Senior Investigative Reporter, Walt Kane, first told W.M.’s story as part of a Kane In Your Corner investigation,
News 12 New Jersey’s Senior Investigative Reporter, Walt Kane, first told you W.M.’s story as part of a Kane In Your Corner investigation, “Justice Delayed.” He is one of three people suing Warrant County, saying county officials were made aware of Bullock’s misconduct but failed to protect them.
One of those officials, former probation supervisor Theresa Vliet, testified last week that she had significant concerns about Bullock’s behavior. “He would give them back rubs,” Vliet said. “I don’t know if the kids, the juveniles, that he did that to were comfortable with it or not because they never said…He also used to, in quotes, “counsel” them, in his office. And the door was closed, and nobody was supposed to disturb him.”
Bullock was tried for rape in 2015 but the trial ended in a hung jury. He died before he could be retried and his estate is not contesting the accusations against him. Warren County’s attorney contends the county is not to blame for Bullock’s behavior since Bullock was an elected official and while former county workers may have suspected sexual abuse, they did not know it was happening. The county also contends that W.M. had been a troubled child before he was raped, and questions whether the sexual assault caused him any additional damage.
Two of Bullock’s other alleged victims, identified only as C.C. and R.M., are hoping to testify in the trial, but whether that testimony will be allowed is up to the judge.
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