Sex Assault Charges Downgraded

One Firm to Four


Name Changes


Corrections or additions?

These articles by Kathleen McGinn Spring and Barbara Fox were prepared for the February 26, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Life in the Fast Lane

Let the upgrades begin! Patriot Media and Communications

finalized its purchase of RCN’s New Jersey cable services on Wednesday,

February 19, according to company spokesman John Gdovin. The new company

is reported to have paid $3,100 for each of RCN’s 80,000 subscribers

in central New Jersey. Princeton Borough, Princeton Township, and

Montgomery are among the towns served by Patriot. Trade magazine CableWorld

has reported that the company will spend $44 million to upgrade the


Patriot was formed by Steve Simmons, who sold 350,000-subscriber cable

system Simmons Communications about 10 years ago, and by Spectrum

Equity Partners. In addition to his business experience, Simmons served

as associate director of domestic policy in Jimmy Carter’s administration.

Simmons is also an author. His children’s picture books include Alice

and Greta, a tale of two witches, one good, one not so good. The book

has received five out of five stars by everyone who has reviewed it

on Long-suffering former RCN cable subscribers can hope

to give Patriot as high a rating.

RCN, focused on building its subscriber base from among apartment

dwellers in big cities, never really wanted the Princeton-area cable

franchise, which it took over from C-TEC. Promised improvements are

less than 20 percent complete, and residents have complained about

poor service and high prices. Under a deal with the state Board of

Public Utilities, to which local towns have taken their complaints,

Patriot will provide increased bandwidth for two-way, high-speed cable

modem service, high-quality cable channels, and compact disc quality

music channels by the end of next year.

Cable subscribers in Patriot territory, Princeton up through Somerset

and Hunterdon, can hope that Patriot will emulate Alice, the good

witch, and bring their system up to the standards of nearby communities.

— Kathleen McGinn Spring

Patriot Media and Communications, 378 South Branch

Road, Suite 104-107, Hillsborough 08844. Jim Holanda, president. 908-371-9700;

fax, 908-371-2179.

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Sex Assault Charges Downgraded

Parag Pruthi, founder of Niksun Inc. on Cornwall Drive,

is scheduled to appear in South Brunswick Municipal Court on Thursday,

March 6, as a result of downgraded charges resulting from a sex assault

allegation by a female employee.

When Pruthi was arrested on November 30, 2001, he was charged with

criminal sexual contact, criminal restraint, and lewdness. The charges

have since been downgraded to disorderly persons by the COunty Prosecutor’s


Whether by chance or by someone’s planning, on the day of the arrest,

a camera crew was parked in front of Pruthi’s Cornwall Road office,

to do an interview about how his company had just made the top 100

list at Computerworld magazine. Instead, the crew filmed Pruthi’s


Detective James Ryan of the South Brunswick Police investigated the

complaint by the 32-year-old employee.

Representing Pruthi, Joseph Benedict, of Benedict and Arnold on Livingston

Avenue in New Brunswick, emphasizes how the charges were downgraded.

"It was not a case the county prosecutor wanted to pursue,"

says Benedict. "We have a very good defense."

The complainant’s original statement, according to Detective Ryan,

was that "she was restrained and he made unwanted contact with

parts of her body. She questioned whether anyone would follow through

on her complaints."

But after extensive investigation Benedict believes he can prove that

neither the party was in the building on the weekend day that the

offense allegedly occurred. Nor were they in the building on the weekends

before or after that day. "The building has an access code and

neither shows up as having worked that day," says Pruthi’s attorney.

"We interviewed everyone who was there, and they are sure the

complainant was not there. We checked phone records and we have Pruthi’s

cell phone showing that he was checking the office."

Benedict also reports that the complainant had recorded a stalking

incident involving someone from her former place of employment. "My

surmise is that she was probably setting somebody up and found a better

target here. She has filed a civil suit and made an outrageous demand,

$2 million."

Founded in 1997, the 60-person firm offers non-intrusive network monitoring,

performance and security enhancement, equipment provider for IP networks.

It also has offices at 111 North Center Drive.

— Barbara Fox

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One Firm to Four

Firms founded by four people who used to work at Vandal

Proof Products now share an office, and the office has moved from

Crossroads Drive to Kuser Road.

Two years ago Ron Keppel, the owner of Vandal Proof Products, sold

the company to Electronic Microsystems, which has a parent company,

the Halma Group, based in the United Kingdom. Ron Keppel started another

company, Emcom Systems to do technology integration in the communications


Emcom Systems, 2450 Kuser Road, Suite E, Hamilton

08690. Ron Keppel, owner. 609-584-7817; fax, 609-584-7723.

Les Slater of Slater Associates covers the marketing arrangements

for VandalProof as well as for two other companies. "I hire manufacturers

reps and set up their national marketing plans, functioning for some

companies as the outsourced vice president of marketing. My company

reaches the telecommunications and security industries," says

Slater. A 1960 graduate of Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota,

Class of 1960, he had worked at Viking Electronics in Wisconsin. What

he represents: vandal resistant telephones (Vandal Proof Products),

small office/home office phone systems (for TMC Corporation, based

in Cranbury), and door entry (DoorBell Fone).

Vandal Proof phones are used by the Port Authority of New York/New

Jersey, the Baltimore Mass Transit Association, and Amtrak for the

Hudson River Tunnel, where the steel-encased unbreakable phones are

used by train personnel for emergencies and maintenance purposes.

Slater Associates, 2450 Kuser Road, Suite E, Hamilton

08690. Les Slater, regional manager. 609-584-7790; fax, 609-584-7723.

Home page:

Jon Zeier has a marketing business.

Zeier Associates, 2450 Kuser Road, Suite E, Hamilton

08690. Jon Zeier 609-587-8240; fax, 609-584-7723.

Richard Mextras programmed the embedded systems for the Vandal Proof

products. A Dartmouth graduate, Class of 1969, he did graduate work

at Princeton in music composition, particularly focused on computer

music with Jim Randall. "I was the first of the composers to end

up as a computer professional," says Mextras. He founded his consulting

firm in 1979 and has a home office in Hopewell. In addition to embedded

systems, he works on real-time financial news distribution.

Mextras Associates, 2450 Kuser Road, Hamilton Square

08690. Richard Mextras. 609-818-9143; fax, 609-584-7723.

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Adventures in Advertising/The Printing Company,

525 Milltown Road, North Brunswick 08902. Al DeLuca, president. 732-846-4200;

fax, 732-846-0456. Home page:

The DeLucas expanded their printing and advertising firm from 2070

Route 1 in North Brunswick to Milltown Road in the same township,

and it has a new phone and fax. The move took place December 30.

Al DeLuca majored in economics at Boston University ’82 and sold printing

and computer supplies on Wall Street for Wallace Computer Services,

then worked for a small private firm before starting his own business.

He and his wife have four children, and his mother, Beverly, and

his brother, Michael, are also in the business.

"Our new space has more room for storage," says Beverly DeLuca,

"which we need since we took on a franchise, Adventures in Advertising,

for promotional items."

The DeLucas does printing — letterheads, parking programs, invitations

— for the New York Yankees, and bags and hats for the Yankees’

DS Networks. "They have a package for executives for spring training,

and we are doing bathrobes with logos," she says, and phone cards.

Phone cards are the next hot, inexpensive promotional item. Other

clients are JFK Medical Center, Coors Light, and medical companies

— magazines to promote new drugs.

Top Of Page
Name Changes

Dow Chemical Company, 295 Princeton Hightstown

Road, Suite 11361, West Windsor 08550. Joseph Marasco. 609-275-6861;

fax, 609-275-1458. Home page:

Joseph Marasco’s company, Chirotech, was bought by Dow Chemical last

year and the United States office moved from the Carnegie Center.

A developer of key chemical intermediates, Chirotech was headquartered

in Cambridge, England.

Top Of Page

James A. Bulvanoski, 57, on February 13. He founded SPT

Electrical Supply Company.

John W. Gaston Jr., 56, on February 17. He had been executive

director of Stony Brook Regional Sewer Authority.

Jack O’Leary, 77, on February 19. Formerly vice president

of public relations at Gillespie Associates, he was a consultant to

the Princeton Chamber, Princeton University, and Bovis Lend Lease,

among others.

Joseph Lahovich Sr., 60, on February 20. He worked at

FMC Corporation.

Barbara Sipos Arrison, 46, on February 20. She had worked at

Dow Jones on Route 1 North and as a bookkeeper at Mercer Street Friends.

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