TRENTON – Two suspended New Jersey state troopers were indicted Wednesday on charges that they allegedly exchanged sexually explicit text messages that contained child sexual abuse material.
The Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Cyber Crimes Bureau obtained a state grand jury indictment Wednesday charging the following two defendants with the listed offenses:
Jeffrey Reitz, 49, of Williamstown, N.J.
Andrea V. Knox, 36, of Mt. Holly, N.J.
The charges relate to texts that Knox allegedly exchanged with Reitz. Reitz was previously indicted on Dec. 19, 2019 on two counts of possession of child sexual abuse material (3rd degree) in connection with email exchanges he had with a different woman. This indictment supersedes that prior indictment and incorporates the allegations related to Reitz’s email exchanges with that different woman. During those exchanges, the woman proposed that Reitz sexually assault a young girl and sent him a sexually explicit photo of the girl. Additional images of child sexual abuse material were found in an iCloud account that belonged to Reitz which allegedly sent to and received from an unidentified individual.
Further investigation of that iCloud account revealed that Reitz allegedly engaged in sexually explicit conversations about an underage girl with his fellow trooper Knox. On Aug. 27, 2018, Knox allegedly encouraged Reitz by asking for details about the sex acts Reitz would like to perform on the girl. Reitz later told Knox he had touched the girl. The following day, the pair had another sexually explicit text exchange, during which Reitz sent Knox photos of two nude female children with their genitals visible. Knox failed to report that Reitz shared items of child sexual abuse material with her and refrained from reporting an allegation of criminal sexual contact, despite her duty as a police officer to enforce and uphold the laws of the State of New Jersey.
Reitz and Knox are charged with attempted tampering with evidence because Knox and Reitz allegedly attempted to alter or destroy Reitz’s cellphone with the purpose to impair its verity or availability in the ongoing investigation. It is alleged that, but for measures taken by investigators, evidence would have been destroyed.
Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $10,000. In addition, the charges of second-degree official misconduct carry a mandatory minimum term of five years in prison without possibility of parole and require forfeiture of public pension upon conviction. The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.