Sex Offender Accused of Infiltrating Toms River HS East Marching Band
A tier-three sex offender in Ocean County is accused of becoming involved in the parents’ board of the Toms River High School East Marching Band.
Jason Walsh, 41, of Berkeley Township, was indicted in Ocean County Superior Court in Toms River on Monday.
According to county Prosecutor Joseph Coronato, Walsh allegedly took part in the board that oversees the band’s “Pit Crew” and sought a position on the board, in violation of his status.
Investigators in Coronato’s office, Toms River Police and the New Jersey Department of Parole say a review of his GPS tracker supported complaints brought to their attention by school officials and parents.
Walsh is charged as a sex offender prohibited from youth-serving organizations in violation of state statutes. He was released for a future court date.
Letter Sent to Toms River East Parents
As you may be aware, there was an incident that took place at Intermediate East earlier in the year that led to a recent indictment. This was followed by a statement from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office which was then released to the media, last Friday afternoon, May 3, 2013.
At the time of the incident, law enforcement officials directed the district to not make public comments about the incident, particularly because the allegation did not involve students.
Following my meeting this morning with Prosecutor Coronato, he has allowed me to share some additional information about the incident. These facts may help to allay some of the anxiety that you may have felt after reading the media account of the indictment.
All doors at Intermediate East were locked on that day, as they always are, and all normal protocols were being followed. As some students were being dismissed to buses by a staff member, the accused man gained entry to the building. When stopped and questioned by another staff member, he provided law enforcement identification. He was in the building citing business that he had with a teacher he knew. There was no time that students or staff were at risk because the teacher he was going to visit was the sole focus of the accused.
School officials fully cooperated with law enforcement in their investigation which resulted in the aforementioned charges. Also know that following this incident, we have adjusted our protocols for student dismissal.
While I sincerely apologize for any distress that this incident may have brought to our staff members, parents and perhaps, some of our students, please know that it is often difficult to respect the confidentiality of law enforcement investigations and, at the same time, provide information to staff members and parents. In the future, please know that we will continue to work collaboratively with law enforcement and determine what information can be released on a case by case basis.
We believe that our continued cooperation with the Prosecutor’s Office and local police
departments will serve to best secure our school buildings and keep our children and staff
Frank J. Roselli
Superintendent of Schools