Jersey City Briefs

Jersey City teacher charged with sexual assault

Sean Lora, 42, of Bayonne, who is employed as a teacher at Franklin L. Williams Middle School No. 7 in Jersey City, has been charged with sexual assault for allegedly touching a student, according to a release issued by Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez.
Lora was arrested on March 7 by members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Special Victims Unit.
Lora allegedly sexually touched a student on March 6. The alleged incident was reported to the prosecutor’s office by the school’s principal.
Suarez said a subsequent investigation by SVU detectives led to additional victims alleging similar incidents. Lora has been charged with three counts of sexual assault by contact, aggravated criminal sexual contact, and five counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Man and woman found dead in JC home; toddlers unharmed

In what appeared to be a murder-suicide, Jersey City police found a man and woman dead inside an apartment on Mina Drive on March 5.
Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said at approximately 8:45 a.m., Jersey City police officers responded to a report of an injured female victim at 2 Mina Drive in Jersey City. Upon arrival, officers found an unresponsive female victim on the first floor with apparent multiple gunshot wounds to her head and torso. Police officers also found an unresponsive male victim located in the basement level of the home with an apparent gunshot wound to his head.
The victims have been identified as Lydiah Okongo, 40, and Henry Okongo, 51. They were both pronounced dead at the scene at approximately 10 a.m.
Responding officers also found two children in the home, a 3-year-old male and a 1-year-old female. The 3-year-old male was not physically injured, but was transported by Emergency Medical Services to Jersey City Medical Center for evaluation.
The Prosecutor’s Homicide Unit is actively investigating this case with assistance from the Jersey City Police Department. While it appears these deaths are the result of a murder-suicide, the final determination is still pending findings by the Regional Medical Examiner’s Office.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor at (201) 915-1345 or to leave an anonymous tip on the Hudson County Prosecutor’s official website at: All information will be kept confidential.

JC doctor charged with health care fraud and other crimes

Dr. Subramaniam Khanthan, 76, a pain management specialist who operates Hudson Medical, P.C. in Jersey City, has been charged with 16 counts of second-degree health care claims fraud and one count each of theft by deception and illegal use of runners (third degree.) The indictment was handed up by a state grand jury on March 5, said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor (OIFP) in a release.
An undercover sting caught the doctor on video allegedly using an illegal “runner” to recruit patients to his medical practice and then billing an insurance company for treatments that were unnecessary or never performed on the patients.
The charges stemmed from a joint undercover investigation by OIFP’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (‘MFCU”) and the Jersey City Police Department Special Investigations Unit that caught Khanthan on video allegedly engaging in a scheme to provide physical therapy treatments to patients who didn’t need them in order to fraudulently bill insurance providers for the services.

Sheriff’s Office adds new patrol vehicles and new K9 units

The Hudson County Sheriff’s Office has acquired 10 new vehicles, five K9 units and five patrol vehicles.
Five new dogs were acquired via the Render Safe Grant. Four of them are German shepherds and will be trained in bomb and explosive detection and patrols. These four are expected to begin working during the early summer months.
The department will be holding a memorial service shortly for one of its dogs who died after recently being retired from the force.
In addition, the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office is adding a Bloodhound, the first in any law enforcement agency in Hudson County. This breed of dog is specifically known for their human tracking abilities, however it will not be used to track criminals due to the breed’s nonaggressive nature. The dog will be used to track missing persons such as autistic children and elderly people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. The Bloodhound will be available for service by early May.
The additions of these new dogs bolsters the ranks of the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit to a total of seven, five of them trained in explosives and patrol, one in narcotics, and one in tracking missing persons.
For more information please contact Juan P. Escobar (201) 864-0600 or

NJ Land Conservancy renews scholarship program for 2018

The Land Conservancy of New Jersey is now accepting applications for its 2018 Scholarship Program. Two scholarships are available to college students who reside in New Jersey and are pursuing a degree in environmental science, natural resource management, conservation, horticulture, park administration, or a related field. The application deadline is April 1.
Applications can be downloaded from The Land Conservancy of New Jersey website, or can be obtained by calling (973) 541-1010 x14. Potential candidates must be New Jersey residents enrolled in a college or university, be in good standing, have at least 15 credits completed, and have an academic average equivalent to a 3.0 or higher.
“This year we are pleased to be able to provide $7,500 to each of our two scholarship recipients,” announced Rick Simon, trustee and member of the scholarship committee for The Land Conservancy of New Jersey.

Public invited to talk on ADHD and mood disorders

On Wednesday evening, March 28, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) will feature at its monthly meeting Bruce P. Friedman, M.D. Dr. Friedman treats children, adolescents and adults. He was magna cum laude at Duke University, earned his medical degree at University of Arizona, was chief resident at NYU/Bellevue, and has been recognized for clinical excellence for NYU Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He is a Diplomate in Adult & Child & Adolescent Psychiatry & TMS Neuromodulation. His private practice is in Montclair.
Dr. Friedman’s presentation will be, “An update on AD/HD medication strategies in children, adolescents and adults. Facts vs. Fads.” It will be followed by an “Ask the Doctor” session on mood disorder topics for all ages.
These educational meetings of the organization take place on a Wednesday every month at 7:45 pm using the facilities of the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 21 Normandy Heights Road (about one block east of the Morris Museum), in Morristown. The public is cordially invited to attend all meetings; a nominal donation is requested from non-members, when possible. Free literature is available to all attendees and there is an extensive lending library of educational audiotapes, CD’s and videotapes, also free.
In addition to the lecture series, peer group support sessions led by experienced facilitators are held every Tuesday evening of the month, also using the facilities of the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship in Morristown at 7:30 p.m. Separate groups for young adults are held every Tuesday evening and separate groups for friends and family are held periodically. All are always welcomed.
Visit the Website of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance/Morristown Area at to learn more about the support group and to view links to other sources of helpful information. For further local information, call (973) 994-1143.

Cunningham parole reform plan approved by committee

A plan authored by state Sen. Sandra Cunningham (D-31 dist.) that would help reform the state’s parole system by reducing recidivism and better preparing inmates to reenter mainstream society gained the approval of a Senate committee on March 5 The bill, S-761, approved by the Senate Budget Committee, would make a series of reforms, including a requirement to develop a reentry and rehabilitation plan for each inmate.
The bill would also establish “administrative parole release,” provide compliance credits, establish an inmate disciplinary database and mandate an impact study of the bill’s reforms. In addition, the bill would require the Department of Corrections to conduct a study and issue a report concerning the bill’s fiscal impact.
“Studies and experience show that reentry services are very effective in preventing past offenders from becoming repeat offenders and helping them to become law-abiding citizens,” said Cunningham.
Similar legislation was approved by both houses of the legislature last year, only to be conditionally vetoed by then-Gov. Christopher Christie.
Administrative parole would mean the release of an adult inmate who has met the criteria in the bill at the time of parole eligibility, and would occur after a hearing officer reviews the pre-parole report of an inmate and the inmate is certified for release. Under current law, an adult inmate is released on parole at the time of parole eligibility, unless the inmate has failed to cooperate in his or her own rehabilitation or there is a reasonable expectation that the inmate will violate conditions of parole.