A longtime member of the Phillipsburg Police Department is charged with official misconduct and criminal sexual contact.

According to the Warren County Prosecutor's Office, Officer William Lance was arrested after investigators looked into an alleged incident from a couple years ago.

On June 8, authorities took a report from a woman who says that in August 2019, Lance called her over to his patrol car at Wawa, then grabbed her arm and placed her hand on his exposed genitals. When she pulled away, the woman said, Lance told her not to tell anyone.

A witness from the alleged victim's vehicle corroborated the story and said the woman came back to her car crying, and said that Lance had exposed his penis. The woman's mother also provided a statement to police, noting that the woman had told her about the incident in the past.

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Officials became aware of the potential wrongdoing because of a social media post calling out Lance as a "perv." On the post, the Phillipsburg resident asked individuals to share their stories about Lance, who also worked as martial arts instructor who worked with children in the district.

Lance is being held at the Somerset County Correctional Center pending an initial court appearance. He's charged with second-degree official misconduct, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years, and fourth-degree sexual misconduct, which carries a maximum of 18 months in prison.

It was not known Wednesday whether he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

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