Authorities in Ocean County say a track coach from North Jersey is in trouble with the law after allegedly inappropriately touching a girl at a meet earlier this month.

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer says 61-year-old Thomas Downes of Jersey City, who is the head coach of a girls' track team in that city, has been charged with criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child.

"On February 12, 2022, Officers from the Toms River Township Police Department were contacted in reference to an incident that occurred at the John Bennett Athletic Bubble in Toms River. A minor female - who was a participant in a track meet taking place at the facility - reported that an adult male approached her and touched her inappropriately."

An investigation determined Downes was the person who allegedly touched the victim in an inappropriate manner.

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On Monday, Downes surrendered to authorities at the Toms River Township Police Department. He was processed and released on a summons pending a future court appearance.

Anyone with additional information about this investigation, or if there are other victims, is asked to contact the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 929-2027.

The public is reminded that charges are accusations and all persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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