STAFFORD -  Today Stafford Township Police Chief Thomas Dellane and Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato announced the arrest of 19-year-old Joseph Barden of Bayville. 

On January 20, Barden was arrested and charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault, Sexual Assault, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, the report said.

Stafford Township Police Detective Levi McVey and Ocean County Prosecutor's Office Special Victims Unit Detective Stephanie Bayha were the arresting officers, while OCPO High Tech Crime Unit Detective Raymond Coles and Ocean County Sheriff’s CSI Detective Stephen Capoano also assisted with the investigation. 

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The investigation began on January 19 when the incident was reported to the Stafford Township Police Department. 

Police said a report was made "that the juvenile victim was sexually assaulted after corresponding with Barden on Facebook, which would lead to him visiting her residence and the alleged sexual assault."

"The investigation alleges that over the course of several weeks, the defendant communicated with the victim via cellphone, exchanging photographs, then visiting the victim’s residence and climbing through her window into her bedroom where the alleged assault took place on January 19, 2018," the report stated.

Senior Assistant Prosecutor Christine Lento approved the complaints after reviewing the case.

The defendant was detained and transported to Ocean County Jail pending his detention
hearing, said the report.

The media and public are reminded that criminal charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.