Ralph Pereira

Brigantine Police Officer Ralph Pereira was arrested Monday and charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old.

A Brigantine police officer pleaded guilty Friday to using his job to sexually assault a child.

Ralph Pereira, now 45, was arrested in May 2014, on charges including sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, for the assault of the then-16-year-old girl.

He and then-Atlantic City Police Officer Andre Corbin were both accused of having a sexual relationship with the girl, whose name was not released due to the nature of the charges.

Corbin pleaded guilty in January 2015, and is currently serving a five-year prison sentence. He is eligible for parole in June 2017.

The criminal complaint said Pereira had oral sex with the girl on at least on occasion. He was indicted Aug. 25, 2015 on 17 criminal counts.

The 10-year police veteran has been suspended without pay since his arrest, Chief Jim Bennett said.

Now that Pereira has pleaded guilty, "we're going to move for immediate termination," Bennett said.

Pereira pleaded guilty to official misconduct and sexual assault. He faces five years in prison under the plea agreement, including two years of parole ineligibility. He also will have to register as a Megan's Law offender.

He is scheduled for sentencing before Superior Court Judge Patricia Wild on July 1. But sentencing dates for sex offenders are usually delayed while they undergo evaluation at the Avenel Diagnostic and Treatment Center.

Staff writer

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