The coach of a girls’ track team at a high school in Jersey City has been charged with innapropriately touching a minor while at en event at the John Bennett Athletic Bubble in Toms River earlier this month.
Thomas Downes, 61, of Jersey City, has been charged with criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the Feb. 12, 2022 incident, prosecutors said Monday.
According to a statement from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, 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.”
The victim reported the incident to her coach, who then reported the incident to law enforcement, the statement said. 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, prosecutors confirmed. No identifying traits regarding the victim – including her age or hometown, or connection to the sporting event – were divulged.
Downes surrendered himself to authorities at Toms River Township Police Department Headquarters Monday. 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 Bradley Billhimer urged.