MAYS LANDING — A sergeant with the Cape May County Sheriff’s Office was found not guilty of sexually assaulting a subordinate Wednesday morning.
Sgt. Jay H. Gaskill, 37, of Middle Township, was acquitted of second-degree sexual assault and fourth-degree criminal sexual contact charges for two separate incidents involving a subordinate sheriff’s officer in the Cape May County Courthouse Security Unit while they were both off duty.
“We were very happy that the jury saw that the state’s case was not credible and the charges were false,” Gaskill’s lawyer, John Tumelty, said during a phone interview after the verdict.
Prosecutor Jeffrey H. Sutherland said he was displeased with the decision.
“While we are disappointed in the jury’s verdict, we respect their verdict and we appreciate all of their hard work and thank them for their service in this case,” Sutherland said.
Antwan McClellan, public information officer for the Cape May County Sheriff’s Office, declined to comment on the verdict or whether Gaskill’s employment status had changed Wednesday afternoon, saying it’s a personnel matter.
Gaskill was charged in an April 2015 alleged assault that occurred in the back of the victim’s car in the courthouse parking lot, as well as a similar incident several months earlier, Tumelty said.
“Our defense from the beginning was that this was completely consensual and nothing that came close to a crime in the vehicle,” Tumelty said. “Jay feels completely vindicated and looks forward to getting back to work immediately.”
Gaskill has been suspended without pay for a year and a half, he added.
The trial started with jury selection May 7, after the case was moved from Cape May County to Atlantic County Superior Court be-fore Judge Bernard E. DeLury.
Gaskill was arrested Dec. 12, 2016, and indicted by a grand jury March 28, 2017.
The Prosecutor’s Office said it was not informed of the alleged assault until late 2016, previous reports said.