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  • Fort Lee
    serves Fort Lee, Leonia & Palisades Park
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  • Englewood
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Judge Releases Ridgewood Police Officer Charged With Sexting Purported Girl, 15

Peter J. Tuchol Jr.
Peter J. Tuchol Jr. Photo Credit: Boyd A. Loving photo / INSET: Courtesy BCPO

UPDATE: A judge in Hackensack on Thursday allowed the release -- with conditions -- of a Ridgewood police officer accused of having sex chats on Tinder with what he thought was a 15-year-old girl but was really an undercover detective with the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office.

Peter J. Tuchol Jr., 28, can remain free until he's tried, pleads guilty or has the charges dropped, but he cannot have unsupervised visits with children nor use any dating apps or sites, Superior Court Judge Susan J. Steele ordered.

He also had to surrender his firearm and passport and must report to probation services in Hackensack every week, she said.

Tuchol, who remains suspended from the village department, "arranged to meet with the purported 15-year-old girl to engage in sex" during what was a sting operation targeting pedophiles, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo said earlier this week.

A raid on Tuchol's Waldwick home by Calo's Cyber Crimes Unit and local police turned up evidence, as well as steroids, a hypodermic syringe and medical drugs without prescriptions, the prosecutor said.

The three-year village department veteran, who is also a bodybuilder, is charged with sexual assault,  luring/enticing a child by various means, child endangerment and possession of the drugs and syringe, records show.

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