Acting Prosecutor Frederic M. Knapp Announces Investigative Staff Promotions

As part of a reorganization of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp today announced numerous promotions of investigative personnel. Prosecutor Knapp, after a lengthy and detailed evaluation of the agency, has initiated a comprehensive reorganization of the office. The reorganization plan is multi-faceted involving a restructuring of the investigative units, promotions of investigative personnel and the hiring of additional detectives. The investigative restructuring shall provide for more effective command of the various court and investigative units of the office.

Prosecutor Knapp stated, “I feel that this reorganization plan will only serve to optimize our capabilities to aid in the investigation, indictment and prosecution of offenders thus improving the overall quality of life in Morris County. It is part of our obligation to the citizenry of Morris County.”

The following personnel will be promoted today with their new command assignments indicated.

  • Lieutenant Denise Arseneault to Captain, who will command the Specialized Crimes Division.
  • Lieutenant Daniel DeGroot to Captain, who will command the Special Operations Division.
  • Sergeant Anthony DeVincenzo to Lieutenant, who will command the Sex Crimes/Child Abuse and Megan’s Law Units.
  • Sergeant Robert McNally to Lieutenant, who will command the Specialized Crimes Division.
  • Detective Steven Brylinski to Sergeant, who will supervise the Major Crimes Unit.
  • Detective Harrison Dillard to Sergeant, who will supervise a Special Operations Unit.
  • Detective Supervisor Christopher Dorn to Sergeant, who will supervise Specialized Crimes Units.
  • Detective Supervisor Carmen Ferrante to Sergeant, who will supervise the Fugitive Unit.
  • Detective Susan Johnson to Sergeant, who will supervise the Sex Crimes/Child Abuse and Megan’s Law Units. 

Detectives Joseph Costello, Christoph Kimker and Christopher Vanadia were also promoted to Detective / Supervisor and will continue in their current assignments. The promotions are effective today.

Chief of Investigations John Speirs stated, “All of the individuals promoted were more than deserving of their promotions and are an investment in this office’s future. I also praise the professionalism and dedication of the rest of the men and women of this office.”

Any inquiries can be directed to First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor/SDAG Thomas Zelante at 973-285-6252 or [email protected].

Parsippany Hill High School Teacher Charged With Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Criminal Sexual Contact

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Parsippany Police Chief Paul Philipps announce today that Jenna Leahey, 32 years old, of Morristown, N.J. has been charged with two counts Endangering the Welfare of a Child, a crime of the second degree and two counts Criminal Sexual Contact, a crime of the fourth degree for acts involving a 16 year old male.

Defendant is a teacher at Parsippany Hills High School who allegedly became involved in a sexual relationship with a 16 year old student. The relationship started in late January 2013 when the defendant began exchanging sexually explicit text messages with the victim and later sent sexually explicit pictures of herself to him. The relationship allegedly progressed physically to acts of kissing and mutual sexual contact and continued through June 6, 2013. These acts occurred on and off school grounds. The victim disclosed the relationship to a staff member at the school. The school is cooperating with the investigation.

The Honorable Thomas V. Manahan, J.S.C. set bail at $100,000 no 10%, cash, bond or property. As conditions of bail the defendant is to have no contact with the victim and no unsupervised contact with children under 18.

The investigation is on-going. Please contact the Parsippany Troy Hills Police Department Detective Bureau at (973) 263-4300 or the Morris County Prosecutors Office Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit at (973) 285-6200 if you have any relevant information.

Acting Prosecutor Knapp would like to thank Detective Edward Mitreuter of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit and Detective Keith Duffy of the Parsippany Troy Hills Police Department whose efforts contributed to this arrest.

If convicted of the above charges, the defendant faces a maximum potential custodial sentence of approximately 20 years, subject to Parole Supervision for Life and Megan’s Law.

Despite these pending charges, every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Any inquiries can be directed to First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor/SDAG Thomas Zelante at 973-285-6252 or [email protected].