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Should a former dominatrix who appeared in bondage movies for pay be allowed to work as a Hudson County sheriff’s officer?

That’s a question that is expected to be answered when newly sworn-in sheriff’s officer Kristen Hyman, of Bayonne, attends a disciplinary hearing on June 27.

The county Sheriff’s Office suspended Hyman without pay on May 26, six days before she was scheduled to graduate from the police academy, saying she failed to disclose that she made bondage videos and saw clients privately for money.

The sheriff’s office cited her activities, roughly from 2010 through 2012, as conduct unbecoming a public employee. She was also accused of neglect of duty and other causes for disciplinary action after an internal affairs investigation, which was triggered by allegations about Hyman’s past.

In citing the reasons for her suspension, the sheriff’s office noted “the proliferation of video and audio records … and or the promoting on social media … has resulted in the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office being the subject of inquiry and ridicule among law enforcement.”

Hyman hired attorneys James Lisa and Peter Willis, who successfully argued that that she had done nothing illegal, she had already completed all the requirements to graduate and it was wrong to suspend her prior to a disciplinary hearing, Lisa said. Hyman declined to be interviewed for this story.

Kristen Hyman is sworn in during a June 8 ceremony for 27 new officers at the William J. Brennan Courthouse in Jersey City on June 8, 2017. Pictured with her are county Freeholder Anthony Romano, left, and Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari.
Kristen Hyman is sworn in during a June 8 ceremony for 27 new officers at the William J. Brennan Courthouse in Jersey City on June 8, 2017. Pictured with her are county Freeholder Anthony Romano, left, and Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari.

Hudson County Superior Court Judge Mary Costello lifted the suspension and ordered Hyman’s reinstatement, allowing her to graduate with her class on June 1. She is currently on modified duty, her attorneys said.

The sheriff’s office also opposed Hyman being sworn in with her 26 classmates on June 8, but hours before the ceremony at the Brennan Courthouse in Jersey City the sheriff’s office withdrew its opposition.

According to documents filed with the courts, Hyman told sheriff’s office investigators she is aware she appeared in videos that are available online, but she noted that she was never naked and never performed sex acts in those videos. Hyman also pointed out that her real name was never used in any of the videos.

Hyman said she ended such activities five years ago and called it “stupid stuff I did when I was a kid.” She said the violent acts portrayed in some of the videos were “staged” and her role was that of an actress, court papers say.

Hyman said she was paid for some of the videos, but does not receive any money for the continued sale of those videos, the court documents indicate.

As part of the investigation, the sheriff’s office compiled screen grabs of Hyman’s appearances on video, including one that showed her “cradling unknown male’s head with eyes closed who is possibly passed out.” On the same website, Hyman is described as “a true sexual sadist who hurts people not because she has to, but because it truly brings her pleasure.”

A sheriff’s office investigator said that in the videos, Hyman is seen using items “such as whips, and kicking the groin area to inflict pain upon the recipient. In most cases the recipient is naked and/or bound,” court documents say.

An investigator wrote that in Hyman’s disclosure of her past work activity, “she does not provide any information as to the true nature of her activities as a ‘mistress’ involved in sadomasochistic activity as evidence on the internet via videos and still photographs,” court documents say.

The report says Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari concurred with the disciplinary action against Hyman to “protect the integrity of the department” and to prevent her from taking an oath of office “for which she is not entitled.”

Schillari declined to comment for this story, citing the ongoing dispute.

The matter was presented to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, which didn’t file any criminal charges.

Lisa said Hyman injured her legs while going through the academy and had to undergo surgery. He said it does not impact on her ability to perform the duties, but it “certainly reminds her of what it took to become a sheriff’s officer.”

“She wants to be in law enforcement,” Lisa said, adding that “The videos are clearly inflammatory, but there is nothing illegal.”

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