P’ville NJ High Teacher, Ex-Member of OCBP Arrested for Sex Assault
More than a year after sexual assault allegations first appeared on social media concerning members of the Ocean City Beach Patrol, officers from the Cape May County Prosecutor's Office arrested Jonathan Howell, 40, of Marmora on first-degree sexual assault charges.
Thursday, Howell was arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault, a crime of the first degree, and several other related charges.
6ABC reported in April of 2021 that the Instagram account "ocbp_predators" was created after a female lifeguard asked for help. The account began sharing dozens of anonymous allegations against unnamed members of the Ocean City Beach Patrol.
Howell is no longer a member of the Ocean City Beach Patrol but is a math teacher at Pleasantville High School, according to the school district's website.
According to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by 6 ABC Action News, 30 recorded interviews have been conducted to date in connection with the investigation.
In the interviews, claims of sexual harassment, sexual comments, and contact, sexual assault, providing alcohol/controlled dangerous substances to minors, and failure to properly address complaints were reported, according to authorities.
Jonathan Howell was repeatedly named throughout this investigation as someone who engaged in this behavior.
Most of the females that came forward were juvenile lifeguards at the time they encountered Howell. His position as senior lifeguard gave him authority over them, authorities said.
In the summer of 2017, investigators allege that Howell provided alcohol to a 16-year-old female and later sexually assaulted her. At the time, Howell was a senior guard who supervised the victim, the affidavit stated.
Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey Sutherland says a person convicted of a first-degree crime is subject to a term of imprisonment of 10 to 20 years in state prison.
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