Nassau Police Officer Garrett Mannerz was arrested on charges that...

Nassau Police Officer Garrett Mannerz was arrested on charges that he coerced a woman into touching him sexually during a traffic stop, the Nassau District Attorney said. (June 15, 2011) Credit: NCPD/

A Nassau police officer pleaded guilty to official misconduct yesterday after admitting that he forced a woman to touch him in a sexual manner during a traffic stop in February.

Garrett J. Mannerz, 34, resigned from the Nassau Police Department effective immediately, prosecutors said. County Court Judge John Kase ordered him to serve 80 hours of community service and granted him a conditional discharge.

Mannerz, who joined the police force in November 2005, was initially charged with felony bribe receiving and three misdemeanors: sexual abuse, coercion and official misconduct.

"Garrett Mannerz abused his authority to take advantage of a woman, and his conduct was a disgrace to the Nassau County Police Department," Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement. "Nassau County is a safer place with Garrett Mannerz off the police force."

There is disagreement over whether Mannerz will receive a pension. Prosecutors said the police department's legal bureau informed them that Mannerz is not vested and will not receive a pension, though he can apply for "nominal pro-rated payments" when he turns 65. But Mannerz's lawyer and Nassau Police Benevolent Association president James Carver said he is vested and can apply to receive pension payments when he turns 55.

Carver did not comment except to say Mannerz's guilty plea "speaks for itself." Police declined to comment.

Mannerz's lawyer, William Petrillo of Rockville Centre, said his client was a good police officer, arresting 123 people on drunken driving charges last year alone -- the second most of any Nassau officer.

"Officer Mannerz's years of tremendous service should not be overshadowed as a result of one incident," Petrillo said.

Prosecutors said Mannerz, who was assigned to the Third Precinct in Williston Park, stopped a car with three woman in it after the driver made a U-turn near Hempstead Turnpike about 4 a.m. Feb. 27 in East Meadow, prosecutors said.

After ordering the driver out of the car and administering sobriety tests, Mannerz told her to get back inside and said she was "borderline on the Breathalyzer."

He then ordered another passenger out of the car, asked her to turn around, and called her "sexy," prosecutors and court papers said at the time. He brought her back to his unmarked car, where he made a series of lewd comments, they said.

He took down her phone number and said "if she did something for him, he would let her friend get away without getting a ticket." He then grabbed the woman's wrist and forced her to touch him, prosecutors and court papers said.

He also asked for her phone number, and began calling her within hours, court papers and prosecutors said.

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