PATERSON, NJ – Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Hawthorne Police Chief James W. Knepper announce the pretrial detention of Oscar Q. Palacios, 46 years old, from Paterson, New Jersey. Mr. Palacios was arrested without incident on November 23, 2021, after an investigation conducted by the Hawthorne Police Department. Pretrial detention was ordered by Judge Scott T. Rumana on December 3, 2021.
Mr. Oscar Q. Palacios is charged with two counts of first degree aggravated sexual assault, five counts of second degree sexual assault, and two counts of second degree endangering the welfare of a child for crimes committed against two victims. On October 19, 2021, two victims responded to the Hawthorne Police Department to disclose sexual assaults that were committed against them when they were prepubescent children.
After speaking with both victims, now adults, and speaking with other witnesses, the investigation revealed that while in the role of a caretaker, Mr. Palacios repeatedly sexually assaulted the two minors while their biological mother was at work. The sentencing exposure on first degree Aggravated Sexual Assault is ten to twenty years in New Jersey State Prison with 85% of the term to be served before parole eligibility pursuant to the No Early Release Act; on second degree Sexual Assault it is five to ten years in New Jersey State Prison with 85% of the term to be served; and on second degree endangering the welfare of a child is three to five years in New Jersey State Prison.
If convicted, Mr. Palacios will also be subject to Parole Supervision for Life and Megan’s Law registration requirements. A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office asks anyone with additional information about this incident or other incidents regarding this individual to contact us on our tips line at 1-877-370-PCPO.