EAST ORANGE — A veteran East Orange police officer who headed up the Police Athletic youth football program was charged with sexually assaulting two football players he coached between 1998 and 2003, according to acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo.

Ruotolo said her office's Special Victims Unit investigated the allegations made against Edward Giles, 59, for seven months. Giles was arrested at his home on Friday and made his first court appearance on Sunday. He is being held at the Union County Jail awaiting a detention hearing on Thursday.

Giles, a 30 year veteran of the department who was also a community resource officer, sexually assaulted a student-athlete playing for the East Orange Wildcats youth football team on "several" occasions between 1998 and 2000 when the boy was between 11 and 13 years of age, according to according to SVU Supervisor/Union County Assistant Prosecutor Caroline Lawlor.

A second boy who was also on the team was assaulted in 2002 and 2003 when he was 12 and 13 years ago, Lawlor said.

Giles was the team's coach, Lawlor said.

Giles was charged with two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault of a child, two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault of a child victim over whom the defendant had supervisory or disciplinary power, one count of first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, five counts of various second-degree sexual offenses against a child victim, two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, two counts of third-degree sexual offenses against a child victim, and two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact.

Ruotolo expects there are other victims and urged them to come forward. Many of the assaults took place at Giles' home in Roselle.

“This defendant took advantage of his position of trust in the community as a means to victimize children,” Ruotolo said.

Public records show Giles earned a salary of 110,060 with East Orange.

According to a 2008 News 12 New Jersey story, Giles was accused of breaking the arm of a 12-year-old girl who was walking home from school. Giles was responding to a report of kids yelling obscenities at a teacher.

East Orange police did not immediately return a message on Wednesday afternoon seeking comment.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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