SPARTA- A joint investigation conducted by Detectives from Hardyston and Sparta Police Departments has resulted in the arrest and incarceration of a 19-year-old man from Hardyston on sexual assault charges.
On Tuesaday, Hardyston Det. David White initiated an investigation after the mother of a 14-year-old female juvenile alleged that her daughter was sexually assaulted by an individual later identified as, Michael L. Buffington Jr. When White determined that the incident occurred in Sparta Township he contacted Det. Sgt. Terrence Mulligan.
Subsequent investigation revealed that the two knew each other. Buffington picked the girl up in his vehicle at a local establishment early Friday evening. Buffington then drove to her to a secluded wooded area by Ryker Lake located on Edison Road in Sparta. It was here where the alleged sexual assault was committed.
Buffington was interviewed by Det. Sgt. Mulligan and Det. Hannam at 10:00 am this morning. At the conclusion, Buffington was placed under arrest. He is charged with; Sexual Assault (Crime of the Second Degree) and Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Indictable Crime of the Third Degree). Buffington’s bail is affixed at $50,000.00 without a 10% option. He has been lodged in the Sussex County Jail.