An Elizabeth man hired last year to take care of a young child has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting her on multiple occasions, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Tuesday.
Jonathan Tavara-Nima, 31, is charged with two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, one count of first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, two counts of second-degree sexual assault, and three counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child.
The arrest was the result of a Union County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit investigation initiated by a referral from the Union Police Department.
The investigation revealed that Tavara-Nima was hired by the victim’s family last year via the website Care.com and ultimately entrusted to care for her on a regular basis, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Tracy Boyd, who is prosecuting the case. The victim, who is under the age of 13, was found to have been sexually assaulted multiple times in locations including the Benedict Motel in Linden, a residence in Union Township, and in the defendant’s vehicle. Tavara-Nima also allegedly photographed the victim in sexual poses using his cell phone during those encounters.
Tavara-Nima was arrested at his home Friday evening without incident and lodged in Union County Jail.
Anyone with additional information about Tavara-Nima’s activities, or anyone who may have hired him to care for a child, is being urged to contact Special Victims Unit Detective Josh Rios at 908-965-3809 or Sgt. Patricia Gusmano at 908-965-3877.
Under New Jersey’s Jessica Lunsford Act, a conviction on a charge of aggravated sexual assault against a child under 13 results in a mandatory minimum of 25 years in state prison, with the full term to be served before the possibility of parole.
These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.