YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A longtime Cliffside Park High School guidance counselor and high school, college and professional basketball referee put his finger in a 5-year-old girl’s vagina and his penis in her mouth, an indictment returned by a grand jury in Hackensack charges.
Edward C. Meier, 61, of Teaneck, became the target of an investigation after “a relative of the victim recently observed what they felt was inappropriate behavior” and told the girl’s mother, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said following his Oct. 19 arrest.
“She contacted the Teaneck Police Department, who notified the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and the [state] Division of Child Protection and Permanency,” he said. “Arrangements were made for the victim to be interviewed by a detective from that Unit at the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office in Paramus.
“During the interview, the victim provided specific details regarding the sexual activity that occurred between her and [Meier],” Molinelli said. “The relative who observed the inappropriate behavior also provided a statement to detectives at that time.”
Meier posted $250,000 bail on Nov. 3 and was released after spending a week in the Bergen County Jail. A judge ordered that he have no contact with the victim and also prohibited him from possessing any firearms.
The indictment charges Meier with three first-degree and three second-degree sex-related counts.
Two involve separate incidents between June 1 of last year and four days before Meier was arrested. The sixth alleges impairing the morals of a minor.
Meier began working at CPHS in 1982, first as a history teacher. He received the Guidance Counselor of the Year Award from the Bergen County School Counselors Association in 2011.
He has also been chairperson for the Bergen County Caring Awards, which honors students who dedicate large amounts of time to community service.
Meier — who has worked as a professional magician — has officiated on the high school, college, international and pro level since 1972, when he became a National High School Federation Official.
He also refereed training camp games for the New York Knicks for 20 years, beginning in 1980, as well as for the New Jersey Nets from 1980-2009 and the Philadelphia 76ers in 1983.
A 20-year veteran of the popular Jersey Summer Pro League, Meier was an official during the 1994 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship and also for four years at the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Championship (1993-96), and was honored as the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Official of the Year in 1997.
He has officiated international games involving China, Russia, Ireland, Australia, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Israel, Yugoslavia, Sweden, Hungary, Denmark and Latvia — as well as in the CBA, Eastern League, USBL, ABL and Women’s Pro League.
MUGSHOT: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY PROSECUTOR