Hospital executive charged in Newark
Police: Man committed lewd acts in front of UD students
Man flashed UD students in Main Street parking lot, police allege
A prominent hospital executive from New Jersey was arrested last week in connection with several indecent exposure incidents on Main Street and the University of Delaware campus, police said.
Gerald J. Picerno, 57, of Morristown, N.J., was charged with three counts of lewdness, five counts of indecent exposure, two counts of thirddegree trespass and one count of harassment. He was released on $5,500 unsecured bond and ordered to have no contact with the victims, the University of Delaware or the city of Newark.
Picerno is executive vice president of RWJBarnabas Health, one of the largest healthcare systems in New Jersey. Based in West Orange, the nonprofit company runs 11 adult hospitals and four children’s hospitals as well as a bevy of other medical services. Picerno draws an annual salary of around $1.7 million, according to the latest IRS records available.
During the alleged incidents, Picerno drove to Newark in a vehicle registered to RWJBarnabas Health, court documents indicate.
An RWJBarnabas spokeswoman said Picerno is on leave from the company, and his name and photo were recently scrubbed from the company’s website.
Sgt. Gerald Bryda, a spokesman for the Newark Police Department, said officers used fingerprints and surveillance footage to connect Picerno to four incidents, three of which happened in a four-hour time span between Sept. 15 and Sept. 16.
At around 10:30 p.m. Sept. 15, a 20-yearold UD student told police someone came to her house in the unit block of South Chapel Street and left a sexually suggestive note outside before knocking on the door. The note indicated the person had been watching the female residents of the home without their knowledge.
The next incident came less than three hours later, at around 1 a.m. Sept. 16, when a 21-year-old student was parking her car behind 123 E. Main St., which houses the Main Street Plaza apartments as well as Taverna and El Diablo.
The victim told police she saw a clothed man pacing around the parking lot. When she looked again, the man was standing near her car, naked and masturbating, Bryda said.
A half-hour later, the man was spotted again, this time behind the Mia Galleria apartments at 257 E. Main St. Two 19-year-old students reported seeing the man emerge naked from behind a dumpster and then walk through the parking lot holding his clothes in a bundle before jogging away, Bryda said.
The final indecent exposure incident occurred Oct. 15 inside the Roselle Center for the Arts parking garage on Orchard Road, according to court records. UD Police said two women reported that a man approached them in the garage with only a T-shirt covering his genitals and then shook his buttocks at them.
Bryda said the break in the case came when fingerprints gleaned from the note left outside the South Chapel Street home traced back to Picerno. Police also used sur veillance footage and information from automatic license plate readers to implicate Picerno, and one of the victims picked his photo out of a lineup, court documents indicate.
A Newark Police officer interviewed Picerno by phone Oct. 20, and Picerno acknowledged being in Newark during the time of the September incidents.
“I’m having huge marital issues. It’s bad. That brought up some old sh--,” Picerno told the officer, court documents indicate.
According to court files, Picerno pleaded no contest to a charge of lewd and lascivious behavior in Daytona Beach, Fla., in 1990 and was charged with third-degree sexual abuse in New York in 1979.
Picerno turned himself in at NPD headquarters on Oct. 27.