Law & Justice

Sex-offender sentenced for crimes in New Brunswick and surrounding towns

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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ -  After attacking a woman and three children during the spring and summer of 2016, a local man has been convicted and sentenced for sex crimes in Middlesex County.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced today that a 40-year old man from Franklin Township has been sentenced to serve 17 ½ years in a New Jersey state prison for the sexual crimes he committed in multiple jurisdictions.

Thomas Canales, 40, of Franklin Township was sentenced to serve an aggregate sentence of 17 ½ years in a New Jersey state prison. Sixteen years of the sentence is subject to the No Early Release Act. As such, Canales will have to serve 85 percent of that term before he can be released on parole.

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Superior Court Judge Colleen Flynn, sitting in New Brunswick, ordered Canales to register as a Megan’s Law sex offender and also ordered that the defendant be placed on parole supervision for life upon his release from prison.

In addition Judge Flynn ordered a restraining order prohibiting the defendant, or anyone else on his behalf, to contact the victims or their families in any manner.

Canales was sentenced after he was found guilty by a jury on January 2, 2018, of 7 criminal counts including 3 counts of sexual assault in the second degree, 3 counts of endangering the welfare of a child in the third degree, and one count of sexual contact in the fourth degree.

During a five week trial that began on November 28, 2017, Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Carver presented evidence and testimony showing that on various dates between April 19, 2016 and August 28, 2016 Canales committed sexual offenses against four victims, three of whom were children, in multiple jurisdictions including Edison, Highland Park, New Brunswick, and North Brunswick.

Canales was arrested and charged during an investigation by Detective Bill Coleman of the New Brunswick Police Department, Detective Dominick DeCarlo of the Edison Police Department and Detective Mark Morris of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

During the investigation, it was determined that Canales exposed himself to a seven-year-old girl in New Brunswick on July 3, 2016. In that case, he was convicted of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

He also was convicted of criminal sexual contact for improperly touching a 32-year-old woman at a playground in an apartment complex in Edison on August 25, 2016.

Additional charges were filed after a subsequent investigation by Detective Sean McGraw of the Highland Park Police Department, Detective Michael Braun of the North Brunswick Police Department and Detective Mark Morris of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

That investigation determined that Canales exposed himself to an 11-year-old girl in North Brunswick on April 19, 2016. He was convicted in that case of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

He was also convicted of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child for improperly touching a 11-year-old girl in Highland Park on August 28, 2016.

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