Sexual Investigations Unit
The Sexual Investigations Unit (SIU) was implemented by Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes in 2016 to help assist local municipalities with these sensitive and often complex investigations. In addition to handling sexual investigations involving adults and those that do not fit the SVU or Domestic Violence protocols, SIU investigates and prosecutes charges of Endangering the Welfare of Children, including all child pornography cases, violations of community supervision for life and failure to register involving convicted sex offenders.
SIU, currently supervised by Chief Assistant Prosecutor Gina Pfund, is a vertical unit and prosecutes all complaints from arrest thru disposition. The Unit is also comprised of two additional assistant prosecutors and three detectives. SIU reviews all Sexual Assault investigations conducted by municipalities and, will assist local law enforcement or lead the respective investigation, when appropriate. In 2018, SIU developed a teaching block to provide all Passaic County law enforcement officers with the necessary training to conduct a sexual assault investigation, from the initial report until a determination is made by SIU to charge via complaint warrant or to decline prosecution. As per Attorney General Directive 2018-5, SIU maintains a "victim centered approach" with all investigations and will arrange to speak with an alleged sexual assault victim upon request.
SIU will refer all eligible victims to Superior Court to apply for a SASPA (Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act) Order regardless of whether criminal charges are filed.