✅ William Gleason was charged with sex crimes against a minor

✅ He was the head of the borough Recreation Commission

✅ The activity happened between 2015 and 2020, officials say

SOUTH TOMS RIVER — The complaint in the arrest of a leader and active volunteer in an Ocean County borough says he tried to blame a young teenage victim for his predatory behavior and told her no one would believe her because he was friends with the police chief.

William Gleason, a former borough council president, recent head of the South Toms River Recreation Commission and former foster parent, was charged Monday with several sex crimes in connection with a minor who lived in his home between 2015 and 2020.

The Borough Council removed Gleason from all his positions during its meeting on Monday.

The complaint, which was heavily redacted to protect the identities of several people to maintain the girl's privacy, included graphic details about Gleason's behavior.

⚫️ The girl said the abuse by Gleason started when she was 11 or 12. He would come into her room and molested her with his fingers.  It started just on weekends and then continued daily.

⚫️ The victim told investigators that when she told Gleason he was hurting her, he would put a pillow over her face when she cried.

⚫️ Gleason in the summer would also pull her into a pool shed in the backyard, the complaint says.

⚫️ When the girl said she had “stomach problems” he put a camera up her anus and vagina to see what was wrong with her, telling her that a doctor would do the same.

⚫️ When the victim told someone who lived in the house about the abuse. Gleason tried to blame the girl and said she came onto him. The complaint did not identify this individual.

⚫️ Gleason had video cameras set up around the house. He was able to monitor video streams from the Recreation Center at home and on his phone, the other unidentified person told investigators. They did not know if the surveillance video was being recorded.

⚫️ Two other accusations of similar activity were made against Gleason in the late 1990s, according to the complaint. In one case it was handled "within the family" and never reported to police. Police were notified about the second allegation but Gleason told officers the "stupid girl" was "making things up." Gleason said things were "handled" but the complaint does not disclose how.

⚫️ The victim went to Emergency Management Coordinator Kevin McCormick six months ago and said she was moving out of Gleason’s house but did not say why

⚫️ McCormick and the victim met five times for dinner. During their last meal together the victim told McCormick about the abuse. McCormick went to South Toms River Police Chief William Kosh and arranged for the victim and Kosh to meet.

⚫️ They meet at an Applebee’s in Toms River where she told him about the abuse but did not get into detail. The victim said Gleason told her no one would believe her because he’s good friends with Kosh.

William Gleason with Gov. Chris Christie in 2013
William Gleason with Gov. Chris Christie in 2013 (William Gleason via Facebook)

More victims?

Ocean County Prosecutor initially declined to issue a press release about the charges against Gleason due to their sensitive nature and respect for the victim's privacy. However, Gleason's position with the recreation department and a former foster parent necessitated notification to the public, according to the prosecutor.

Billhimer asked anyone with information about these charges or others to call his office at 732-929-2027 or South River police at 732-363-0200.

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