Somerset jail guard accused of assaults on female officers
For two years, the Somerset County Jail's chief corrections officer made lewd comments to two female officers during work hours, according to police.
The incidents culminated in December when, on separate occasions, Ronald Edward Lensbouer, 44, of Geiger Road, Somerset Township, allegedly placed his hands down each woman's pants and tugged up her underwear at work.
Somerset Borough police charged Lensbouer Wednesday in two separate cases with four misdemeanor counts each of indecent assault and harassment and two summary charges of harassment, according to court records.
Somerset County Solicitor Daniel Rullo said Wednesday afternoon that Lensbouer has been placed on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of the case or completion of an internal investigation.
The jail warden declined comment. None of the three county commissioners responded to requests for comment.
Borough Police Chief Randy Cox said that because the charges are misdemeanors, Lensbouer will be sent a summons by District Judge Kenneth Johnson.
Cox said in a news release that the incidents occurred during working hours while Lensbouer was in a supervisory position over the two officers.
According to an affidavit of probable causes filed in the two cases, the corrections officers reported that Lensbouer separately asked the women to show him their breasts, which allegedly led to fondling incidents between 2010 and December.
In December, Lensbouer allegedly assaulted one woman in a female control room of the jail and the second in a main control room, according to court documents.
Police said both women had to fight and struggle to free themselves from Lensbouer. Borough police began investigating in March at the request of the county prison board, Cox said in a news release.
Police are not able to take action on three other reports of similar conduct by Lensbouer because the statute of limitations has expired. Cox said in the release that the incidents allegedly occurred more than two years before the investigation's start.
Lensbouer confessed to the crimes during a May 7 interview with police, according to the affidavit.
Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.