Former sgt. sentenced to prison

Former Newark police sergeant Michael J. Lalley, 44, of Jackson, was sentenced on July 15 to 16 months in prison for attempting to prevent a witness from truthfully giving information to FBI agents conducting a federal criminal investigation into his possible sexual contact with minors in the 1990s, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Lalley, who became a member of the City of Newark Police Department in 1990, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan to one count of an indictment charging him with obstruction of justice. Sheridan also imposed the sentence on July 15 in Trenton federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Lalley admitted that from Jan. 4, 2010, to Jan. 22, 2010, he encouraged and instructed an individual, identified in the indictment as Victim No. 2, to lie to the FBI about their past sexual relationship while Victim No. 2 was a minor. Lalley also admitted that during the course of several consensually recorded conversations between Lalley and Victim No. 2 in January 2010, he intended to impede the FBI’s investigation into Lalley’s possible commission of federal offenses that included, among other matters, his sexual contact with minors.

Lalley admitted that during one conversation on Jan. 19, 2010, he advised Victim No. 2 that law enforcement could not prove their past sexual relationship as long as Victim No. 2 “kept it on the DL [down-low].” Later, Lalley told Victim No. 2 to tell the FBI that Victim No. 2 was over 18 years of age at the time of their sexual contact, or else Victim No. 2 would have to go to court and testify and “everything else comes out.”

In addition to the prison term, Sheridan sentenced Lalley to three years of supervised release, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney.

Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark, for the investigation leading to Lalley’s sentence.