Middlesex County News

Former Basketball Coach Indicted on Multiple Sexual Assaults Involving Edison Youth and Others

Credits: Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A man who served as Dunellen recreation director and a Middlesex County College basketball coach has been indicted on charges of sexually assaulting two boys and engaging in sexually explicit conversations with two others in separate incidents dating back to 1994 announced Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey.

Christopher Tarver, 43, of Jackson Township was indicted by a grand jury in Middlesex County on January 16, 2015 and was charged with 25 counts, including official misconduct, sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, child endangerment and engaging in a pattern of official misconduct.

The grand jury charged that on various dates between June 1, 2010 and December 31, 2011, Tarver engaged in multiple sexual acts with one boy in Edison and Dunellen.  The indictment listed 19 counts of sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, endangering the welfare of a child, official misconduct, and engaging in a pattern of official misconduct.

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The grand jury contended that Tarver was a coach and recreation director when he sexually assaulted the boy on various occasions and at locations including Middlesex County College and the Dunellen Recreation Center.

The grand jury also charged Tarver with counts of obscenity for persons under 18 and a related child endangerment charge for sending sexually explicit text messages to the 15-year-old boy in Ocean Township.

The grand jury further charged Tarver with two additional counts of official misconduct and engaging in a pattern of official misconduct for having sexually explicit conversations and sending sexually explicit text messages to another individual, and giving him marijuana and alcohol sometime between October 1, 2012 and October 31, 2013. The individual was described as a basketball player under the age of 21.

The indictment was handed up by the grand jury following a presentation to the panel by Middlesex County Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Christie L. Bevacqua.

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

Finally, the grand jury charged Tarver with committing a sexual assault against another 15-year-old in 1995 at the defendant’s home in Jackson Township. 

The grand jury reported in the indictment that the other victims ranged in age from 15 to 19 or 20.

The investigation began after one of the victims, now an adult, notified authorities.

That victim was a member of the Monmouth Power Sports Club, a travelling basketball team affiliated with the AAU. Tarver had been the coach and executive director of the team since 1995.

Tarver began working as the Dunellen recreation director in 2004, but was suspended soon after he was arrested in 2014.  He also worked as the recreation director in North Plainfield from February of 2008 until February of 2013.

Tarver was employed as a basketball coach at Middlesex County College from October 21, 2006 to March 5, 2014 and became the college’s head basketball coach on June 24, 2010.

The investigation is active and is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to contact Sgt. DiNinno of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4221, or Detective Duca of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4452.

As is the case with all criminal defendants, Tarver is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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