NJ Boy Scout Leader Charged with Child Endangerment
A New Jersey Boy Scout leader was recently arrested and charged with child endangerment due to allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior. According to Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni, the man was charged with endangering the welfare of a child after allegedly sending sexually explicit messages to a child. The suspect was a volunteer Assistant Scoutmaster with a local Boy Scout Troop, but the available information did not clarify whether the recipient of the messages was a member of that troop. Michael P. Mahon, a spokesman for Boy Scouts of America, stated that the organization responded quickly upon learning about the allegations. Mahon said that “the behavior included in these allegations is abhorrent and runs counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America stands…upon learning of these reports, we took immediate action to remove this individual and prohibit him from any future participation in our programs.”
It is not clear in this matter what relationship there was, if any, between the alleged perpetrator and victim. Thus, there may or may not be a need for involvement of the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (“DCP&P”), formerly known as the Division of Youth and Family Services (“DYFS”). Regardless, the defendant in this case is facing criminal consequences as it relates to the charges for child endangerment. New Jersey’s criminal code sets forth a broad category of child endangerment offenses. For example, N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a)(1) criminalizes engaging in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of a child and classifies the offense as a second degree crime. Within this generalized category, there is also no “parent or guardian” requirement. Moreover, criminal charges can be filed regardless of whether DCP&P is involved.
At the end of the day, any allegations of child abuse, neglect, or endangerment in New Jersey can spell serious consequences for the accused. Additionally, in many cases, DCP&P will also become involved and they will implement potential supervision requirements, require therapeutic intervention, or even take custody of the alleged perpetrator’s children. Thus, if you are accused of child abuse, neglect, or endangerment in New Jersey, you should talk to the skilled DYFS lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm. Our experienced team of child endangerment defense attorneys has defended countless defendants in courts across New Jersey and we are available 24/7 to help you. Contact us today.