Former Mount Laurel Police Officer Hit With 97-Count Indictment

In a recent press release on February 23, 2024, Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw revealed that a grand jury has issued a 97-count indictment against a former Mount Laurel police officer. This officer, identified as Ayron Taylor, was initially charged in 2022 for unlawfully accessing the social media accounts of multiple women and distributing intimate images that they had stored of themselves. The indictment includes 54 counts of Elements of Computer Theft (Second and Third Degrees), 21 counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, which encompasses the Distribution of Child Pornography (Second and Third Degrees), 19 counts of Invasion of Privacy (Second and Third Degrees), two counts of Attempted Elements of Computer Theft (Second and Third Degrees), and one count of Official Misconduct (Second Degree).

The indictment, returned on February 15, pertains to the illicit actions targeting around 20 individual victims, all of whom are female. Taylor stands accused of unauthorized access to their social media profiles and, in certain instances, disseminating their nude photographs to contacts listed on these platforms. Notably, some of the charges related to the distribution of child pornography were brought forth due to the fact that certain images were taken when the victims were minors.

A significant aspect of the case is the charge of official misconduct, as it is alleged that Taylor engaged in these activities while on duty as a police officer. It is essential to highlight that the electronic devices used during these actions were of a personal nature and not affiliated with the police department. An arraignment is scheduled for March 11 in Superior Court in Mount Holly, following which the trial proceedings will commence.

The genesis of the investigation dates back to September 2022 when the initial victim approached the Evesham Township police to report unauthorized access to her Snapchat and Facebook accounts. The unknown perpetrator proceeded to send her private images to her Snapchat contacts, share them with her Facebook friends, and even post them on her Facebook wall. Subsequent investigations revealed a common thread among the victims – each possessed a student email account through Rowan College at Burlington County. It was further uncovered that Taylor illegally accessed approximately 5,000 RCBC email accounts.

Taylor, who transitioned to a full-time officer in Mount Laurel subsequent to his police academy graduation in October 2021, faced swift suspension by the department upon the original charges. Following administrative actions to terminate his employment, Taylor ultimately tendered his resignation. Throughout the investigative process, RCBC officials have extended their full cooperation to law enforcement authorities.

The probe was conducted jointly by the BCPO High-Tech Crimes Unit and the Evesham Township Police Department. Assistance was provided by the Mount Laurel Police Department, Delran Police Department, the New Jersey State Police, and the Riverside Police Department. Detective Christopher DeFrancesco of the ETPD spearheaded the investigation, while Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Eife, supervisor of the BCPO Special Victims Unit, is tasked with prosecuting Taylor. It is crucial to note that the indictment signifies an accusation, and defendants retain their presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

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