PATERSON — A North Jersey police officer has admitted to having sex with an underage girl and exchanging nude photos with her.

Mark Stinnard pleaded guilty in state Superior Court Monday to endangering the welfare of a child.

The 37-year-old former Pompton Lakes police officer admitted having a sexual relationship with the girl and requesting that she take nude photos and videos and send them to him.

Under terms of his plea, Stinnard relinquished his employment and is barred from public employment in the future.

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According to the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office, police in Riverdale received a report in April 2018 of a minor being sexually involved with a police officer in Pompton Lakes.

An investigation revealed the sexual relationship and that Stinnard would request that the minor take nude photos and videos and send them to him.

Investigators concluded the relationship occurred during Stinnard's personal time and didn't affect his employment as an officer.

"Mark accepted responsibility for his actions and looks forward to putting this ordeal behind him," Stinnard's attorney, Anthony Iacullo, said Monday. "Mark regrets the decisions he made concerning this entire matter."

Stinnard is scheduled to be sentenced in January.

Prosecutors have recommended that he receive five years' probation and undergo mandatory sex offender therapy.

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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