Jersey City, NJ coach touched minor at Toms River track meet, police say
TOMS RIVER — A Jersey City man who's coached track at the high school and college level has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and criminal sexual contact after allegedly touching a girl inappropriately at the site of a track meet.
According to the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, 61-year-old Thomas Downes turned himself in on Monday to authorities in Toms River. The alleged incident occurred at the John Bennett Athletic Bubble in Toms River on Feb. 12.
Authorities say a minor female, who was participating in a track meet at the facility, reported to her coach that an adult male had approached her and touched her inappropriately. The coach reported the incident to law enforcement, and authorities later identified Downes as the individual in question.
At the time of the incident, according to authorities, Downes was the head coach of a girls' track team at a high school in Jersey City. Downes has also led the men's and women's cross country programs at New Jersey City University.
Anyone who believes they have additional information regarding the investigation, or believes they might have been victimized by the defendant, is encouraged to contact Detective Alex Bromley of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office at 732-929-2027 ext. 3271, or the Toms River Township Police Department Detective Bureau at 732-349-0150, ext. 1297.
After surrendering to authorities, Downes was processed and released on a summons pending a future court appearance.