EXCLUSIVE: Elmwood Park man who expected to walk out of a Hackensack courtroom today after resolving charges of stalking his ex-wife, breaking into her house and secretly videotaping her having sex with another man got a surprise when an outstanding arrest warrant out of Family Court surfaced.
Presiding Superior Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi said she immediately couldn’t determine what the warrant was for, so she ordered 45-year-old Lorenz Hen jailed.
Hen, who has a history of arrests for non-payment of child support, has shown up late for court or not at all over the past 20 months, as seven indictments were brought charging him with stalking, assaulting or contacting his ex-wife in violation of court orders.
Earlier this year, Hen withdrew a plea to four indictments at what was supposed to be his sentencing. Last Monday, he was scheduled to go before DeAvila-Silebi for a trial date, but his lawyer said that Hen left the courthouse for a supervised visit with his children.
He was due in court at 9 a.m. today but showed up a little before 11.
“If you had been here at 9 o’clock, I would have told you to go to [Family Court] and resolve this matter,” DeAvila-Silebi told Hen. “But since you didn’t, I’m going to put you in jail to make sure you appear.”
Hen pleaded guilty today to charges in six of the indictments and was arraigned on a seventh that was handed down April 16.
Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Jessica Gomperts said the seventh indictment was resolved with the plea.
In exchange, prosecutors agreed that he should spend 364 days in the Bergen County Jail, after which he’ll remain on probation for five years.
The case began in September 2012, when authorities charged Hen with attempting to assault his ex-wife and neglecting their 2-year-old child. Although she’d obtained a restraining order against him, prosecutors said Hen violated it by phoning the woman, approaching her in public and breaking into her house.
Less than a week later, they charged him with stalking for another violation. A judge set bail at $10,000.
Then things got ugly, prosecutors said.
After breaking into his ex-wife’s house, they said, Hen hid and then videotaped her and another man having sex. He then showed the video to the woman’s religious leader and threatened to distribute it to friends, business associates and others, authorities said.
Seven charges in all were filed, after which Hen posted $2,500 bail and was released.
More indictments followed — two of them earlier this month for stalking allegations in August and November of last year and in February. Bail was $25,000, which Hen again posted.
Hen pleaded guilty today to head-butting his ex-wife, injuring her eye and nose; breaking into her house and making the secret videotape, then making a copy; and repeatedly violating restraining orders.
DeAvila-Silebi, in turn, warned him that if he comes back before her “on any kind of violation” before his scheduled June 2 sentencing, she will have him tried on all of the charges.
She also said Hen would have to pay for the court interpreter himself.
“We pay them by the hour,” the judge said, “and this man has been waiting three hours for you.”
STORY / PHOTOS: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.