Home Somerset county Did Warren County Ignore Sheriff’s Sexual Abuse? Jury deliberations begin on Tuesday.

Did Warren County Ignore Sheriff’s Sexual Abuse? Jury deliberations begin on Tuesday.

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After three weeks of testimony, jurors will begin deliberating Tuesday morning over whether Warren County officials ignored warning signs that former county sheriff Ed Bullock was abusing a young boy.

Jurors heard oral arguments at the trial on Monday to determine whether Warren County authorized the alleged sexual abuse of a then 11-year-old boy listed in “WM” court documents. WM said he was now 45 years old.

The charges in the three-week trial have back-and-forth over whether Bullock’s alleged abuse was an open secret among county officials who failed to protect “WM.” Two others also sued the county, claiming they were also abused, although they are not plaintiffs in the case going to trial this month.

Attorney Jeff Horwath said Bullock’s behavior was beyond county oversight, which was never made aware of the abuse allegations. He represents the Warren County Insurance Company. Horwath said “WM” never reported the incident to authorities.

“No one in the county knew or consented to it,” Horwath said. “We didn’t hire him. We can only fire him. He is a chosen one. He had access to children in his home. We don’t give him that access.

Bullock died in 2015 aged 86, after criminal charges relating to one of the boys’ abuse allegations resulted in a mistrial. Bullock died before he could be retried.

As sheriff from 1982 to 1991, Bullock controlled security at the Belvidere Courthouse and oversaw prisoner transfers. When the boys and young teens needed a round trip from the county juvenile detention center or the youth shelter, Bullock allegedly broke protocol by volunteering to drive them alone.

The lawsuits allege those records are where Bullock raped the boys. Some were teenagers, according to the trials. One was 9 years old, according to court documents. Bullock reportedly had a particular preference for young white boys with blue eyes and blond hair.

“We know where he hunted and how he hunted,” said Jeff Russo of Phillipsburg, WM’s attorney. “We heard joke after joke and rumor after rumor. – There [Bullock] goes with another blonde boy with blue eyes.

Somerset County Judge Michael J. Rogers presided over the trial.

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Glenn Epps can be reached at gepps@lehighvalleylive.com Where glenn_epps_ on Twitter.