Retired Clifton Cop Gets Probation For ‘Tapping’ Teen’s Testicles

MORRISTOWN – A former Roxbury High School vice principal was sentenced to probation, community service and manual labor for “tapping” the testicles of a teenager during roughhousing.

Dozens of supporters for Roger Schneider, 57, the former Haledon teacher and retired Clifton police officer, packed the Morris County courtroom for his sentencing Friday.

Schneider was arrested and charged with child endangerment and criminal sexual contact in 2015 after the teen, who was living with him, and his family reported he had been touched. In October, Schneider pleaded guilty to cruelty and neglect of a child.

The teen, now a college student, lived with the Schneider family when he was 14 and 15 years old, from August 2013 to January 2015. During his plea hearing, Schneider said he and the teen engaged in “ball tapping” — back-handing each other’s testicles — while fully clothed and wrestling in his home.

At the time of his arrest, Schneider was serving his first year as assistant principal for Roxbury High School where he earned $105,000. He had worked as a history teacher in Haledon following his retirement from the Clifton Police Department.

Schneider told Superior Court Judge Catherine Enright that he never meant to hurt the Haledon youth, who temporarily lived with Schneider’s family in Rockaway Township while attending a local high school through the state’s School Choice program.

“Never was there any intention to hurt someone who had become so close to myself and my family,” Schneider said. He said he is innocent of other sex-related allegations by the teen, and the “testicle-tapping” over the youth’s clothing was the result of “poor judgment” and “unclear thinking.”

Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Laura Magnone recommended 364 days in the Morris County Jail, probation and forfeiture of Schneider’s teaching and principal certifications. Defense lawyer Sharon Bittner Kean argued a fine and community service were adequate for a man who devoted his life to public service and had no criminal record.

“At first I thought about just keeping quiet and continuing my life as though that point in my life hadn’t occurred. But that kept me up at night. It began to eat away at me and I couldn’t continue like that.”

The judge said she found Schneider was remorseful, lived a law-abiding life and has strong support from his family and the community, including educators and police officers who had worked with him. Enright did not impose a jail sentence, but ordered Schneider to perform 25 hours of community service, one year on probation, and complete 30 hours on the Sheriff’s Labor Assistance Program, a work in-lieu-of jail program.

Schneider also forfeited his teaching and principal certifications and cannot hold public employment again in New Jersey, the judge ordered.

Enright called the crime “aberrant behavior” that was disturbing and deeply affected the victim.

Magnone read letters to the judge where the victim and his father wrote the teen had looked up to Schneider as a mentor and “father figure.”

The victim wrote that he struggled with betraying the Schneiders’ generosity by allowing him to live with them, but spoke up when he realized he couldn’t live with the memories of Schneider touching him.

“The man I looked up to had become a monster,” the victim wrote in his letter. He wrote he was afraid of coming forward and few people supported him. He also wrote that he has since forgiven Schneider, but urged others in the same position to speak out.

“At first I thought about just keeping quiet and continuing my life as though that point in my life hadn’t occurred,” the victim wrote. “But that kept me up at night. It began to eat away at me and I couldn’t continue like that.”

Magnone told the judge Schneider preyed on and groomed the youth to accept his touches. Schneider and his attorney denied the allegations.

Schneider met the teen while he worked as a teacher in Haledon and encouraged him to participate in the School Choice program so he could attend a school in Morris County.

When the commute became intolerable for his family, the youth was invited to live in the Schneider home in Rockaway Township, Magnone said.

During his tenure as a police officer, Schneider worked as a school resource officer at Clifton High School, according to his resume.

Schneider also stepped down as president of the Morris Hills Regional Board of Education when he was arrested.


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 4119 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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