CEDAR GROVE, NJ - Cedar Grove residents are taking to social media to question why a man was permitted to attend the Cedar Grove Community Pool since being arrested on child pornography charges early in the summer. After an article on TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove, Cedar Grove Resident Arrested on Child Pornography Charges, alerted them to the arrest of Jonathan E. Trumble, which occurred on July 2, residents voiced outrage that they weren't notified of the arrest and that according to witnesses, he was often seen mingling amongst their children at the pool.
According to Katherine Carter, Public Information Officer for the Essex County Prosecutor's Office (ECPO), Trumble is charged with knowingly possessing and/or knowingly viewing less than 1,000 items depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child less than 13, which is a 3rd degree crime. He is also charged with engaging in sexual conduct which could impair or debauch the morals of a child by engaging in sexually explicit communications and exchanging images with a 13 year old child, also a 3rd degree crime. Carter confirmed that the alleged victim is a 13 year old girl.
However, Carter also stated that Trumble has not violated the conditions of his release and that he is legally permitted to be at the pool.
Meanwhile, TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove has confirmed that the suspect's wife is a manager at the Cedar Grove Community Pool. Some residents have commented on social media that they feel that she exhibited poor judgement by allowing him to be at the pool considering the charges against him. Residents also commented that they feel the town should have alerted residents and told the suspect to stay away from the pool.
According to pool regulations, it is left to the discretion of pool management which patrons can be removed from the pool. The Cedar Grove Community Pool’s Information, Rules and Regulations document states, “Management may close the pool or remove a patron, whenever the safety or health of the membership is endangered and may prohibit any action or conduct which is dangerous, improper, illicit or immoral.” It continues, “The Pool Manager will have the authority to suspend any member or guest of their pool privileges who; destroy property/equipment or violates any of the Rules and Regulations. The Pool Manager shall be responsible for the enforcement of all rules and regulations, and any other situations that might endanger the welfare of those on the premises.”
Although no information about the arrest was released to the public or to media by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, posts on social media indicate that rumors of the arrest have been circulating for weeks, and residents claiming to be pool patrons commented that they were stunned that he was at the pool post-arrest.
"I personally saw him at the town pool at least six times,” a pool member who wished to remain anonymous told TAPinto. “He started showing up one week after he was arrested. Everyone was outraged. Since then he not only shows up, but he walks around talking to people, goes in the pool and generally acts like nothing was wrong.”
Town officials have not responded to repeated requests to comment on the matter. However, Cedar Grove Police Chief Joseph Cirasa emphasized that Trumble is innocent until proven guilty, and he is following the conditions of his release. When asked if Trumble should be permitted at the pool, Cirasa said, “He has rights, and we have to follow the law and respect those rights.”
In Cedar Grove, children as young as 13 receive a badge that allows them to attend the Community Pool unsupervised.
Jeanne Moreno contributed to this article.
TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.
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