Four A.C. Firefighters Accused in Sex Case

Two girls said they were lured to firehouse with promise of pizza

Tony Shin

Atlantic City officials allege firefighters coaxed teenage girls to disrobe and pose for pictures in firefighting gear before engaging in sex acts.

Mayor Lorenzo Langford said yesterday that he had asked New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram to determine whether at least four of the firefighters should be prosecuted on charges of official misconduct.

"If the allegations are true, I want to terminate immediately, if not sooner, all persons involved," he said.

Four firefighters have been suspended, including the one alleged to have engaged in sexual contact with the girls. That firefighter, Richard Williams, denied the allegations and said the girls were just seeking money.

Last week, Atlantic County prosecutors declined to file charges stemming from the May 16 incident because the girls were older than 16, the age of consent. The next day, Langford asked the Attorney General's Office to intervene.

Milgram's office did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

County Prosecutor Theodore Housel also ruled out a prosecution for official misconduct, determining that the firefighters' actions had not involved their jobs.

But City Solicitor Robert Tarver said that by giving the girls department-issued firefighting gear and asking them to pose for pictures in it, the firefighters had engaged in official misconduct.

Two girls have sued Williams, who they said had lured them into the firehouse with the promise of pizza. The lawsuit alleges the firefighter persuaded one girl to expose her breasts and touch his genitals, among other conduct.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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