A Hunterdon County man has been accused of sexually assaulting two teen girls while he worked as a martial arts instructor a few years ago.

Vincent Damiano, 44, of Hampton, was arrested on Jan. 6, after two different women came forward to police, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael Robertson.

The first woman reported on Nov. 22 that she was 17 when she was sexually assaulted more than once by Damiano between May 2019 and July 2019.

She said the incidents happened in Branchburg, as well as in the Asbury section of Franklin Township (Warren County) and Lebanon (Hunterdon County), Robertson said.

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Two days later, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office was notified of a second adult female who said she was sexually assaulted by Damiano from the time that she was 16 until she was 18.

Detectives interviewed the second victim, who said the sexual assaults also happened in Branchburg and the Asbury section of Franklin Township from July 2017 to July 2019.

Damiano has been charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault and two counts of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child.

He was briefly held at Somerset County Jail and then was released after a detention hearing.

Anyone with information relating to the investigation can contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes Unit 908-231-7100 or the Branchburg Township Police Department at 908-526-3830.

Information also can be shared via the STOPit app, which allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos, and through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ tip line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477).

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Over the past few years, state lawmakers have taken on the challenge of dealing with accused child predators among the ranks of teachers and educators.

In 2018, the so-called “pass the trash” law went into effect, requiring stricter New Jersey school background checks related to child abuse and sexual misconduct.

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Others cases are still pending, including some court delays amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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