JUDGE GRANTS NJ TRANSIT’S REQUEST FOR ONE-YEAR SUSPENSION OF LEWD CUSTOMER
Individual Charged With Seven Separate Lewd Acts Directed Towards Female Bus Operators Suspended for One Year
March 24, 2023
NEWARK, NJ – A Superior Court Judge has granted NJ TRANSIT’s request to suspend for a period of one year the riding privileges of an individual who had been charged with at least seven separate lewd acts aboard NJ TRANSIT buses in the past two years.
“NJ TRANSIT takes these incidents against our employees extremely seriously and will not tolerate these actions on the public transportation system,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “We will use all of the tools available to us to prosecute violators to the fullest extent.”
“NJ TRANSIT customers and frontline employees should never be subjected to physical assaults or this type of illegal behavior,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “NJ TRANSIT is committed to leveraging every available measure to keep our customers and employees safe, and this suspension imposed by the court should serve as a powerful deterrent to any of those who believe they can get away with such disrespectful and abhorrent behavior.”
“Lewd behavior and assaults directed at our employees are uncalled for under all circumstances,” said New Jersey Transit Police Chief Christopher Trucillo. “We will not hesitate to enforce court ordered bans and pursue those who commit crimes while riding with NJ TRANSIT.”
“Let this ban serve as a clear reminder that NJ TRANSIT will not tolerate assaults of any kind on our employees,” said Senior Vice President of Surface Transit and General Manager of Bus Operations Mike Kilcoyne. “We commend the actions taken to put an end to this individual’s behavior.”
“Operator safety will always be a priority of the Amalgamated Transit Union,” said ATU Chairman Orlando Riley. “No one should face the possibility of being assaulted while earning a living for themselves and their families. This one-year ban demonstrates that NJ TRANSIT and the ATU will continue to aggressively pursue any individual wishing to cause harm to our members on the frontline.”
Sean Guinyard, 36, of Washington Township (Gloucester County) had been charged with at least seven separate lewd acts on board NJ TRANSIT’s buses in the past two years, directed at female bus operators. The latest incident, resulting in the one-year ridership suspension, occurred on August 31, 2022, on bus route No. 409 in Willingboro. Other incidents of lewd behavior occurred on 5/29/21, 7/18/21, 8/16/21, 10/22/21, 10/25/21, 6/18/22.
Guinyard pleaded guilty to a 4th degree contempt charge in Burlington County. NJ TRANSIT advocated for the Court to suspend Guinyard’s bus-riding privileges as part of his sentence. The Burlington County court granted the request and suspended Guinyard’s ridership privileges for one year. Any violation of the suspension by Guinyard will be treated as a violation of his probation and could result in his immediate incarceration.
Governor Murphy signed the Motorbus and Passenger Rail Service Employee Violence Prevention Act (S4701) in January 2022 to create new tools for protecting transit workers throughout the state. In addition to upgrading the penalty for all assaults on a motorbus operator or a member of a rail crew, the law also authorizes NJ TRANSIT and other public transit carriers to suspend or prohibit from ridership individuals who commit assaults against employees or otherwise jeopardize the safety and well-being of the riding public.
In December 2022, the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors approved a plan to begin the rule-making process to administratively suspend ridership privileges for individuals who assault transit employees while also safeguarding due process rights for offenders to appeal proposed suspensions. The proposed regulations would create progressive sanctions (where the length of the suspension would increase with each ensuing offense). The proposed rules would also set procedures for the creation of a Ridership Appeal Board to review initial suspension determinations made by NJ TRANSIT. Those rules are currently being finalized and will be presented to the Board of Directors for final adoption.
“The safety of our operators, our customers, and all of our staff is a primary concern for NJ TRANSIT," said NJ TRANSIT Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer Brian Wilton. "By utilizing the provisions in the Motorbus and Passenger Rail Service Employee Violence Prevention Act, when the regulations are adopted, we can send a clear message that these reprehensible actions will have the strongest consequences possible."
About NJ TRANSIT
NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 925,000 weekday trips on 253 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines and through Access Link paratransit service. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 166 rail stations, 62 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.