MULLICA TOWNSHIP – A man and woman from Mullica Township were arrested this week for endangering the welfare of a child for whom they had a legal duty to provide care, Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Diane Ruberton announced.
A six-month investigation by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victim’s Unit and the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P) resulted Thursday, October 13, 2016, in a direct presentment of the case to an Atlantic County Grand Jury. The Grand Jury indicted:
- William Hilbert, a 36-year-old male, and
- Brenda VanLeer, a 31-year-old female, who reside together on the 5200 block of the White Horse Pike in Mullica Twp, NJ, for:
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child by Abuse or Neglect—a crime of the 2nd degree, and
- Aggravated Assault of the 4-year-old female child—a 3rd degree crime.
The victim was removed from the home early in the investigation, in March 2016, and placed with a foster family for her protection.
The State alleges that Hilbert and VanLeer caused injuries to the victim by striking her with objects on the body and head.
A conviction for a 2nd degree crime carries a potential penalty of 5-10 years of incarceration in New Jersey State Prison. The potential penalty of a 3rd degree conviction is 3-5 years of imprisonment.
Anyone with information regarding the exploitation of children in Atlantic County is asked to contact the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at: (609) 909-7800.
These charges are merely an accusation and not proof of guilt. In all criminal cases, a charged defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at http://www.acpo.org/tips.html and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at http://www.crimestoppersatlantic.com/. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.