†††††††††††††††††† †††† Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office

††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† 25 Kirkpatrick Street, 3rd Floor, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901 (732) 745-3300

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† *News Release*†††††††††††††††† Date: February 24, 2014

 

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Corrections officers charged with assaults

 

Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Gary M. Lanigan, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Corrections, announced today that two corrections officers have been arrested and charged with assaulting two residents in separate incidents at the state Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center for sex offenders in the Avenel section of Woodbridge.

 

††††††††† Michael Higgins (DOB 6/28/66) of Toms River and Steven Domio (DOB 4/10/73) of Hillside were arrested and charged with one count each of aggravated assault when they arrived at work on February 19, 2014.

 

The officers were released from custody after they posted bail. Bail for Higgins was set at $35,000 and bail for Domio was set at $15,000.

 

Higgins was charged after an investigation by the state Department of Corrections determined that the officer punched a 32-year-old resident in the face and broke his jaw on May 12, 2013 at the Avenel facility.

 

Additionally, it was charged that Domio struck a 21-year-old resident in the face at the facility, causing bruises and a laceration to the victimís head at the facility on April 28, 2013.

 

The state Department of Corrections launched the investigation after the injuries were reported.

 

The residents are among sex offenders who are being held at the facility on civil commitments, which are imposed by the courts when sex offenders complete their sentences but cannot be released from custody.

 

Both officers have been suspended pending the outcome of the charges. Higgins and Domio both started as corrections officers on February 2, 2005.

 

As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against the corrections officers are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.