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BELLMAWR, NJ – A Bellmawr man was arrested yesterday, charged with the sexual assault of a 7-year-old child in 2014, Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Diane Ruberton announced.
After a 2 year investigation of Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit detectives, James R. Ward, 30, of East Browning Road, Bellmawr, NJ, was arrested in Bellmawr, NJ, yesterday, Friday, December 30, 2016 at approximately 11:30 a.m.by Special Victim’s Unit detectives. Ward was charged with:
- Aggravated Sexual Assault, “by digitally penetrating a 7-year-old [child]’s vagina”—a crime of the 1st degree,
- Sexual Assault, by “rubbing his penis on the outside of [the victim’s] genital area”—a 2nd degree crime, and
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child, for committing the above crimes “while having legal duty to care for child ...“while her mother was not home”—a 2nd degree crime.
The arrest was made without incident. Ward was transported to the Prosecutor’s Office in Mays Landing, processed for the arrest, then lodged in Atlantic County Justice Facility on $350,000 full cash bail, set by Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Bernard E. DeLury Jr.
The State alleges that Ward was the fiancé of the victim’s mother, and committed the crimes during a time that he was watching the child in their home in Brigantine, NJ, and responsible for the child’s care and safety in her mother’s absence.
A conviction for a 1st degree crime carries a potential penalty of 10-20 years of incarceration in New Jersey State Prison. The potential penalty for a 2nd degree conviction is 5-10 years in prison.
Anyone with information regarding child abuse or the exploitation of children in Atlantic County is asked to contact the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit at: (609) 909-7800.
These charges are merely an accusation and not proof of guilt. In all criminal cases, a charged defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at http://www.acpo.org/tips.html and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at http://www.crimestoppersatlantic.com/. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.