NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – A former Dunellen recreation director and county college basketball coach was sentenced today to 52 years in prison for repeatedly engaging in sex acts with children, possessing child pornography and official misconduct, said authorities.

The man, Christopher Tarver, 47, of Jackson Township, must serve 25 years behind bars before becoming eligible for parole, said Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey. Tarver was sentenced by state Superior Court Judge Colleen Flynn, who said Tarver must register as a sex offender and be on parole for the rest of his life once he is freed from prison, said Carey.

Additionally, Flynn ordered a restraining order prohibiting Tarver, or anyone on his behalf, from contacting Tarver’s victims or their families. She also barred Tarver from holding any future public employment, said Carey.

Sign Up for E-News

Tarver was convicted on Nov. 15, 2017, after a 5-week-long trial, said the prosecutor. He said a jury convicted Tarver on 20 counts including eight counts of endangering the welfare of a child, one count of engaging in a pattern of official misconduct, one count of sexual assault, five counts of criminal sexual contact, four counts of official misconduct and one count of endangering the welfare of a child by possessing child pornography.

“During the investigation it was determined that between June 1, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2011, when Tarver was a coach and recreation director, he engaged in multiple sexual acts with a child in Edison, Dunellen and Atlantic City,” Carey said. “When the crimes were committed, Tarver had supervisory power and the legal duty or responsibility for the care of the victim who was under 18 years of age. He was also found in possession of child pornography in Jackson Township during the execution of a search warrant.”

In addition to serving as Dunellen’s recreation director, Tarver once coached men’s basketball for Middlesex County College, said Carey.

Carey noted that Tarver also pleaded guilty on Feb. 22 to four remaining counts in the indictment. The counts included endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct, two counts of official misconduct and one count of engaging in a pattern of official misconduct, said the prosecutor.

Tarver was sentenced to  28 years in prison for those charges, a term that will run concurrent to the 52-year sentence for the trial conviction, Carey said.

Tarver was arrested and charged during an investigation by Sgt. Frank DiNinno and Sgt. Karleen Duca of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.