Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office

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


                                *News Release*          Date: May 28, 2009  




State prison instructor arrested


          Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan and George Hayman, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Corrections, today announced the arrest of a state prison employee, who was charged with having a sexual relationship with an inmate and giving him a cell phone.


          Michael Hawthorne, (DOB 5/4/64) was arrested May 27, 2009, at his job at East Jersey State Prison in the Avenel section of Woodbridge.


Hawthorne was charged with a second degree count of sexual assault and a second degree count of providing the cell phone to the inmate.


He is being held at the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center. Superior Court Judge Lorraine Pullen set bail at $100,000 and said Hawthorne must post the full amount before he can be released from custody.


A preliminary investigation by members of the Department of Corrections’ Special Investigations Division determined that Hawthorne had a sexual relationship with the 28-year-old inmate during April and May of 2009.


Hawthorne, who was suspended without pay following his arrest, had been employed at the prison since November 3, 2001, as an institutional trade instructor, who taught inmates cooking skills.


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