Former Union County juvenile detention officer charged with sexual assault of teen detainee

A former juvenile detention officer at the Union County Juvenile Detention Center in Linden has been charged with engaging in a sexual relationship with a teenage detainee over the course of nearly a year, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Monday.

Sherrie Brown-Braswell, 37, of Raleigh, N.C., is charged with second-degree sexual assault and fourth-degree criminal sexual contact. She turned herself in to authorities in Elizabeth early Monday.

A joint investigation by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office Special Prosecutions Unit and the Union County Police Department revealed that the alleged sexual contact between Brown-Braswell and the male victim occurred between March 2012 and January 2013, with all of the contact occurring at the detention center in Linden while Brown-Braswell was on duty. She resigned her position with the county early last year.

Brown-Braswell has been ordered not to have any contact with the alleged victim, and her first court appearance is expected to be held Wednesday. Bail in the case has been set at $350,000.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.