Police: Facebook Luring, Chat Leads to Sexual Assault of 12 Year Old Ocean County Girl


Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato and Stafford Township Police Chief Thomas Dellane today announced the arrest of Joseph Barden, 19, of Bayville for the Aggravated Sexual Assault of a 12-year-old Stafford Township girl.

On January 20, 2018, Stafford Township Police Det. Levi McVey and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Special Victims Unit Det. Stephanie Bayha arrested and charged Barden with Aggravated Sexual Assault, Sexual Assault, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.

The arrest stems from an invest begun on January 19, 2018, when it was reported to Stafford Township PD that the juvenile victim was sexually assaulted after corresponding with Barden on Facebook, which would lead to the him visiting her residence and the alleged sexual assault. The investigation alleges that over the course of several weeks, the defendant communicated with the victim via cellphone, exchanging photographs, then visiting the victim’s residence and climbing through her window into her bedroom where the alleged assault took place on January 19, 2018.

OCPO High Tech Crime Unit Det. Raymond Coles and Ocean County Sheriff’s CSI Det. Stephen Capoano also assisted with the investigation. Senior Assistant Prosecutor Christine Lento approved the complaints after reviewing the case. The defendant was detained and transported to Ocean County Jail pending his detention hearing.

The media and public are reminded that criminal charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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