By: Yuritza Arroyo
Monmouth County authorities announced that a local man charged late last year with taking “upskirting” photos of two women in a Shrewsbury Borough supermarket has been rearrested and charged with numerous similar additional offenses, including eight involving victims who are believed to be juveniles.
According to officials, Christopher W. Cox, 33, of Red Bank, is charged with eight counts of second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, nine counts of third-degree Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials, nine counts of third-degree Invasion of Privacy, two counts of fourth-degree Criminal Sexual Contact, and a single count of fourth-degree Possession of a Large-Capacity Gun Magazine.
Authorities say shortly before 4 p.m. on Thursday, October 20, a man, later identified as Cox, was seen entering the ShopRite of Shrewsbury on Shrewsbury Avenue, and soon after that, he began following female shoppers around the store, using his cell phone in a manner indicating that he was secretly taking photos of them from behind.
Cox was then seen exiting the store and leaving the area in a white Dodge Durango.
According to Police, about a week later, shortly after 9 a.m. on Thursday, October 27, Cox was pulled over on Newman Springs Road in Red Bank.
Police say after initially obeying a command from an officer to exit his vehicle, Cox then quickly reentered the SUV and sped away from the scene, with the officer releasing his grip on him in order to avoid getting dragged by the vehicle.
Cox was in Little Silver shortly thereafter and taken into custody without incident.
The investigation ultimately led to the seizure of the aforementioned large-capacity gun magazine and numerous digital video files in Cox’s possession, most depicting girls and women being secretly filmed from below using a cell phone placed in a grocery basket, duffel bag, or other means of conveyance.
The incidents took place at the following times and locations:
• Shortly before 4 p.m. on Wednesday, November 10, 2021, at the ShopRite Wines & Spirits on South Avenue East in Westfield (Union County);
• Shortly before 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, November 10, 2021, at the ShopRite supermarket on West Grand Street in Elizabeth (Union County);
• Shortly before 1:15 p.m. on Monday, May 30, 2022, at the ShopRite of Shrewsbury;
• Shortly before 4 p.m. on Friday, July 1, 2022, at an unspecified Walmart;
• Shortly after 12:30 p.m. on Monday, July 4, 2022, at the ShopRite supermarket at the intersection of routes 36 and 71 in West Long Branch;
• Shortly after 2:45 p.m. on Monday, July 4, 2022, at an unspecified Foodtown supermarket;
• Shortly before 1:45 p.m. on Saturday, September 10, 2022, at the Whole Foods supermarket on Route 35 in Middletown; and
• Shortly before 1:45 p.m. on Sunday, September 18, 2022, at the ShopRite of Shrewsbury.
The investigation further determined that Cox has recently been employed as a plumber.
According to officials, the Criminal Sexual Contact charges against him are connected to incidents taking place on Friday, November 11, and Monday, January 2, in which he secretly videotaped himself rubbing his pelvic area on clients while in their homes, in one case exposing himself and performing a lewd act.
Officials say Cox was last arrested during a traffic stop in Shrewsbury Borough on Thursday, January 12. A detention hearing in this case has been tentatively scheduled to take place on Thursday, January 19. The State has filed a motion to keep Cox detained as the case against him proceeds.
“The conduct being alleged and the frequency of the incidents associated with the charges announced today are equally concerning and disturbing,” Prosecutor Santiago said.
“We are urging anyone who believes they may have been a victim of Mr. Cox to please come forward and tell us what they know.”