STAFFORD, NJ — Stafford Township Police Chief Thomas Dellane and Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato have announced the arrest of man accused of climbing through a 12-year-old girl's window and sexually assaulting her after a chat on Facebook.

Ninteen-year-old Joseph Barden of Bayville was arrested Jan. 20 and charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault, Sexual Assault and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, they said.

According to police, 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."

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

"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.

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. 

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, according to the report.