Nine Years Paid Vacation for New Jersey Cop Accused of Sexually Assaulting Inmate

The city has spent nearly $2 million on leave pay plus legal costs.


Paterson Police Department/Facebook

Who says police departments always move swiftly to protect their own? Sometimes it takes them almost nine years to find a fellow officer not guilty. Such is the case with Manuel Avila, a Paterson, New Jersey, cop who was accused of sexual assault in 2007. A local woman claimed that Avila had forced her to perform oral sex on him while she was in police custody.

A few days before the alleged assault, a city psychiatrist had ruled Avila unfit to carry a weapon and recommended that he retire. Instead, police officials decided to reassign him for six months to a duty that didn't involve carrying a weapon, at which point he would reach 20 years of service—a pension milestone. Avila was assigned to monitor municipal holding cells.

Avila was acquitted of criminal charges related to the alleged assault in 2010. The city settled a civil lawsuit with his accuser in 2011, agreeing to pay her $710,000. But somehow, the police department's internal investigation persisted through early 2016.

Throughout this time, Avila was on paid leave from the Paterson Police Department. By the end of his nine years on suspension, Avila had collected about $900,000 in income for doing nothing. With Avila's pay, the settlement with his accuser, and legal fees, the city has spent about $1.9 million on this case.

Perhaps Avila is innocent, but how could it possibly have taken the city nine years to determine this? "Why this took so long is beyond my control," Mayor Joey Torres told the Paterson Press. "Definitely, this should have been settled long ago. I'm just glad we're bringing it to closure."

All disciplinary charges against Avila were dropped in February, according to a records request filed by Paterson Press. The city and Avila signed a settlement agreement under which Avila will retire, receive around $85,000 in "accrued money owed" for things like vacation and sick days, and may be eligible for lifetime medical benefits and pension payments.

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  1. I mean, it was already clear that rape is legal for cops. This is nothing new, unfortunately.

    1. pay her $710,000

      Technically, it was prostitution.

      1. That’s an expensive blow job.

        1. You don’t pay the her for the sex, you pay her to leave quietly.

        2. For sucking a cop’s dick? No, I’d say they got a bargain.

      2. Technically, it was prostitution.

        I’m actually kind of surprised they didn’t go arrest her for prostitution. Maybe we shouldn’t give them ideas.

  2. All I can say is, he *better* be innocent, after all that.

    1. But now that they’re claiming he’s innocent, let’s investigate why they gave a $710,000 payoff to reward someone for (according to their version) lying.

      I’m sure the cop would *welcome* an investigation on why the taxpayers had to pay off a false accuser, right?

      I mean, the cop has nothing to lose from such an investigation, it will simply confirm how gullible all those clueless civilians are.

      I mean, the cop union is probably going to leap at the chance to get to the very bottom of this scandal..

      Right? Right?

      1. I’m sure the cop would *welcome* an investigation on why the taxpayers had to pay off a false accuser, right?

        That was kinda my point. They rather blatantly turned a rape into prostitution and everybody brushes the dust off themselves, shakes hands, and walks off into the sunset.

        I can’t believe there’s not a State AG or DA reading the story and not at least saying, ‘Huh?!’

        1. I don’t know about NJ prostitution law, but I expect the statute of limitations is less than 9 years.

          1. Right but, kinda as you were saying, colluding to effectively pay off a victim/witness has a lot more implications than just the statute of limitations.

            1. If that’s what happened.

              The other possibility is that they paid her off because she was in fact victimized.

              I really can’t say which it is.

              Either way someone got raped, either the woman or the taxpayers.

              1. Guilty or innocent, the taxpayers got raped long, hard and deep.

  3. He went home safely after his shift. It’s all that matters.

  4. Remember when that lying fuckwad Dunphy claimed that paid leave for cops suspected of crimes didn’t exist?

    Not only a murder apologist but a liar. Tsk, tsk.

    1. Technically, he was right. Not paid. Stolen.

  5. Blah blah punish cops something something Somalia, Wild West, anarchy blah blah, etc.

  6. A million bucks for doing nothing as punishment for a blowjob. It’s good to be a cop.

    1. Disband, privatize, and compete.

    2. Clearly, everyone should join the force. Just make sure to get more questions wrong on their tests than you think you should. If you’re too smart, well, you’re out.

      This fact, on it’s own, is one of the things that seriously should make everyone sit up and take notice. You literally are not allowed to be a ‘normal’ cop unless you have been proven to be stupid. I hate to insult an entire profession, but it is what it is in this case. What other job puts a cap on the I.Q. of applicants?

      1. for Miami PD the cap was 110 the last I checked (about 10 years ago)

        1. MPD’s psych eval also checked for symptoms of antisocial personality disorder – as a *requirement*. the justification for this was that APD traits were required for police involved in assaults, etc (the criteria was for *all* officers, not just SWAT, though)

      2. Back in the 60’s I had a friend who applied for a job as INFORMATION OPERATOR with bell telephone co. She said she failed to get the job, because her IQ was too high.
        Now, scientifically speaking, maybe the company was right; too-intelligent people would get too BORED giving out phone numbers 8 hours a day and either quit or do a bad job!

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  8. I am just glad this hero was allowed to get his pension.

    1. I’ll bet you anything its a spiked pension, too. He’s probably got a six figure income for the rest of his life (or until the pension fund goes bust, whichever comes first).



    smooches, losers.

  10. Hot damn, it is good to be a gangster.

  11. Free sex, no 2nd amendment infringements, unbelievable benefits, I can shoot anyone that pisses me off and kill dogs by the dozen. Where do I sign?

    1. I was thinking the same thing. Why, oh why am I burdened with a conscience?

  12. Meanwhile ..

    Patterson, NJ:
    Population: around 150k
    Median household income: around $40k/yr

  13. Nine Years Paid Vacation for New Jersey Cop Accused of Sexually Assaulting Inmate

    Great, now half the police are going to try to beat this record.

    1. I can’t believe these euphemisms.

  14. This is stupid.
    The cop was found not guilty.
    The Officer’s union wasn’t involved, except to, maybe, ensure the officer got his due process.
    The “police department” doesn’t litigate civil suits or give out settlements – that is the City of Patterson, who dragged out this situation for these nine years.
    This could have been any municipal employee, nothing specific to a LEO, except, maybe the circumstance the woman found herself in. His Hispanic surname, probably had more to do with the kind of treatment he got than the fact he was a cop.
    All of your cop-hate is misdirected, AGAIN, on this one.
    REASON needs to grow up about what law enforcement is all about.

    1. Your first three words make a lot of sense, but it goes crashing down quickly after that. Are you getting $710,000 for this, or are you just throwing this one to your brothers in blue as a freebie?

  15. Retired, you’re pretty good on most subjects, but you have a large blind spot when it comes to cops.

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