A Jersey City head coach has been charged with sexually touching a high school track athlete at a meet in Toms River earlier this month, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Thomas Downes, 61, of Jersey City, was charged with criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child, Billheimer said in a statement.
On February 12th, 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 during a round of the NJIAA track championships.
A underage 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.
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.
At the time of the incident, Downes was the head coach of a girls’ track team at a high school located in Jersey City.
While the OCPO did not identify the specific school he was coaching, public records show he earns $109,034 a year as a physical education teacher at County Prep High School, part of the Hudson County Schools of Technology, in Jersey City.
Earlier today, 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,” Billhimer added.
He also thanked the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, and Toms River Township Police Department Detective Bureau, for their cooperative efforts and assistance in connection with this investigation.