Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez has released the following information:
On Friday, August 14, 2020, at approximately 12:45 p.m., detectives with the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit arrested Heather Cruz, age 28, of North Bergen, on charges of endangering her five-year-old son. She was arrested in the area of 29th Street in North Bergen without incident.
Cruz has been charged with one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4a(2), a second-degree crime.
Detectives previously arrested Ivan Sanchez, age 30, of Hoboken on charges that he abused the five-year-old boy while in his care. Sanchez, a janitor with the Hoboken Housing Authority, was charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4a(2), a second-degree crime and Sexual Assault by Contact in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2b, a second-degree crime.
On August 10, 2020, members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office SVU were notified by the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency about a possible child abuse case of a five-year-old boy.
During the investigation, it was revealed that Sanchez physically abused the five-year-old boy in multiple locations across his body causing severe bruising and injury including on his face, ear, buttocks, lower back and genitals.
It was also revealed during the investigation that Cruz failed to protect her son while Sanchez was causing the physical abuse.
Prosecutor Suarez credited the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit with the investigation and arrest.
The above charges are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. R.P.C.3.6(b)(6).
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