LITTLE EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP-Chief Richard Buzby issued the following statement regarding a suspected child sex offender who has been released back into the community thanks to New Jersey’s new bail reform law.
On Friday, announced the arrest of Christopher Wilson, 20, of Little Egg Harbor Township, NJ, for 2nd degree Attempted Sexual Assault and 3rd degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Police said Wilson offered a child a video game console in exchange for sex. Wilson was arrested, but according to Ocean County law enforcement officials, despite agencies pleading their case to keep him incarcerated, Judge Wendel E. Daniels ordered his release.
“We attempted to appeal the decision and asked for a stay until the appeal process,” said Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Al DellaFave. “It was denied and he was released by the judge, our hands are tied.”
Chief Buzby wrote:
For some time a sex offender who has targeted children in the past, has lived in this community in close proximity to many family residences, school bus stops and other points of interest to children.
Despite the best efforts of the county prosecutor’s office and this agency to the contrary, the current state of Megan’s Law is such that this particular community cannot be notified until the sex offender rating process is completed and a tier is established that will allow such a notification. A determination that would have allowed such notification was reached by the prosecutor’s office but that matter is under appeal and, once again, the notification must be delayed.
There is, at present, an allegation that this subject has re-offended with a local child. An arrest has been made and all appropriate charges have been filed but the new bail reform protocol has determined that he does not present a threat and he was released by a superior court judge this afternoon.
Because of our perceived threat to other children and our continued inability to notify parents this matter has been taken under immediate appeal by the prosecutor. Once again, despite the prosecutor’s best efforts, trial court and appellate court stays have been denied and this person will apparently remain in our community until the matter progresses further.
As your chief and a fellow parent, I could not sleep tonight if I did not say something to families about being particularly careful regarding their children’s whereabouts and welfare at this time. I beg you to do so, particularly now. Rest assured, we are working with the county prosecutor’s office non-stop to rectify this matter as fast as we humanly can.