Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on February 24, Thomas Downes, 61, of Jersey City, was charged with Criminal Explicit Contact and Endangering the Welfare of a Minor relative to an incident that occurred in Toms River on February 12.
According to Prosecutor Billhimer, on February 12, Officers from the Toms River Township Police Department were contacted in reference to an incident that occurred at the John Bennett Athletic Bubble in Toms River.
Prosecutor Billhimer said that a minor female - who was a participant in a track meet taking place at the facility - reported that an adult male approached her and touched her inappropriately.
According to Prosecutor Billhimer, the victim reported the incident to her coach, who then reported the incident to law enforcement.
An investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and Toms River Township Police Department Detective Bureau identified Downes as the individual who touched the victim in an inappropriate manner.
According to Prosecutor Billhimer, at the time of the incident, Downes was the head coach of a girls’ track team at a high school located in Jersey City.
Prosecutor Billhimer said that on February 28, Downes surrendered himself to authorities at Toms River Township Police Department Headquarters.
He was processed and released on a summons pending a future court appearance.
“If anyone has additional information or regarding this investigation, or who believes they might have been victimized by this defendant, please contact Detective Alex Bromley of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-929-2027, extension 3271, or the Toms River Township Police Department Detective Bureau at 732- 349- 0150, extension 1297,” Prosecutor Billhimer said.