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Jury Indicts Man Accused of Groping Girls at Halloween Store

A Union Beach man faces a 14-count indictment on sexual assault and child endangerment charges allegedly committed at a Middletown costume store.

A grand jury has indicted a Union Beach man on charges he groped seven juveniles at a Middletown Halloween costume shop, between October 14-18, 2012.

Mark Lenahan, 34, of Clark Avenue in Union Beach will stand trial on seven charges of sexual assault by committing sexual contact with each of the juveniles, who range in age from 8 to 13. He was also charged with seven counts of child endangerment.

According to the original Middletown Police Oct. 19, 2012 arrest warrant, Lenahan was charged with committing sexual contact with five girls "specifically by grasping her buttocks while she was in the place of employment of the defendant." Sexual contact with a person under the age of 13 automatically upgrades the charge to sexual assault. 

Since then, two other juveniles have made claims. 

At the time, Lenahan was working for the temporary Spirit Halloween costume store in the Pathmark shopping plaza in the New Monmouth section of Middletown.

Criminal sexual assault is a fourth degree crime, which carries with it the potential of an 18-month prison sentence if a defendant is convicted. Child endangerment is a third degree crime, which may result in a 3-5 year prison sentence following a conviction. 

Lenahan is being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Facility on $50,000 bail. 

The grand jury's vote to indict is a formal charge, and not a conviction. The defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in court. 

Dame Bridgid April 16, 2013 at 04:37 AM
Groping an 8 year old. Disgusting pedophile. Sadly, deviants who pursue children just get a slap on the wrist for something like this.

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