Prosecutor: Kearny church youth leader charged with sexually assaulting 16-year-old


A Kearny church youth leader has been charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old teen in connection to an incident that dates back to April 2018, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced.

Photo of the Good Shepherd Church in Kearny via Google Maps. Inset photo of Esteban Ruiz courtesy of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Yesterday, members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit arrested
Esteban Ruiz, 21, of Kearny, on charges that he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old female in April 2018, Suarez said in a statement.

Ruiz met the victim in his capacity as a youth leader at the Good Shepherd Church, located at 780 Kearny Ave., officials said.

Ruiz has been charged with sexual assault, a second-degree crime, and endangering the welfare of a child, a third-degree crime, police said.

According to authorities, he was arrested at his home in Kearny at approximately 7:00 p.m. without incident. At the time of his arrest, Ruiz listed the Centro de Adoracion in Hackensack as his current employer.

Suarez credited the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and the Kearny
Police Department for the investigation and arrest.

The HCPO filed a detention motion and the detention hearing will be held on Friday, June 19th.