Judge: Women accused in Brick animal hoarding case allowed to remain free ahead of trial

An Ocean County judge denied a motion filed by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office to revoke the release of Aimee Lonczak and Michele Nycz.

News 12 Staff

Jan 31, 2023, 4:24 PM

Updated 538 days ago


Two women accused of hoarding more than 150 dogs and cats will not be going back to jail before their trial begins.
An Ocean County judge denied a motion filed by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office to revoke the release of Aimee Lonczak and Michele Nycz.
The prosecutor claimed that both women were with Lonczak’s teenage daughter while demanding to get their dogs back from the Stafford Animal Shelter.
But it came out in court on Tuesday that the prosecutor and a Brick Township police officer were mistaken. The women were not with Lonczak’s daughter.
Lonczak's defense attorney immediately ripped into the claim that both went to the Stafford Animal Shelter on Jan. 19 and bullied the manager into handing over seven of their personal pets.
"That's a lie. That's not what happened as per my conversations with my client, that's not what happened,” said attorney Glen Kassman.
Kassman admits both women did go to the shelter with another woman, not Lonczak's daughter, with the plan to retrieve the animals.
“There was an understanding that my client and Ms. Nycz could designate a third party who would foster those animals,” Kassman said.
Kassman said he told his client they could go to the shelter after Lonczak asked for his permission.
"And as I live and breathe judge, I said, ‘Give it a shot.’ That turns out to be bad legal advice because we are here,” Kassman said.
In spite of their attorney giving both the go-ahead, the assistant prosecutor pushed on, saying that simply trying to see the dogs was still a violation of their release.
"This is an intentional violation of a court order from Judge Daniels that says no animal contact,” said Assistant Prosecutor Alex Becker.
That order stemmed from the initial charge of animal cruelty after 180 animals, all cats and dogs, were found in the ranch in Brick Township where Lonczak and Nycz were living with Lonczak's teen daughter.
Judge Guy Ryan conceded both women violated the order by going to the shelter but ruled that it did not meet standards for revoking release.
The courtroom was filled with volunteers and workers at the animal rescues who have been caring for the animals - people who say they don't believe the accused should have ever been released. They say that the women should never be allowed around animals.
“It wasn’t 10 dogs. It wasn’t three dogs. It wasn’t just little skinny dogs. There were literally dead dogs embedded in crates,” says Amanda Wilkens, of Mama’s Gona Rescue.
Ryan amended the order to say both women are not allowed to have contact visitation with any of the animals at an animal shelter or pet store, at least not until future decisions by a judge.

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