Egg Harbor City Megan’s Law offender ordered held on new charge
Updated: Mar 24
A convicted Megan’s Law sex offender accused of sexually assaulting girl at his home just blocks from an Egg Harbor City school has been ordered held pending trial. Jose A. Rodriguez, 69, is accused of touching the girl’s private areas with a handheld massage device after taking her shopping at Walmart in August. Just taking the girl out alone violated the conditions of Rodriguez’s 2003 conviction in a Megan’s Law case, Assistant Prosecutor Dave Ruffenach told the judge Tuesday. Rodriguez pleaded guilty 16 years ago when he was charged with aggravated sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child. The victim at that time was younger than 16 but older than 13, according to the indictment obtained by BreakingAC.
He served no jail time under a plea that gave him four years’ probation and put him under lifetime supervision as a Megan’s Law offender. But, despite being categorized as Tier 2 — a moderate risk on the three-tiered scale — he was not listed on the public online registry. That is not uncommon, attorneys familiar with Megan’s Law told BreakingAC. When an offender is convicted or pleads guilty to an offense, they go through a Megan’s Law tier hearing, which using a numeric system to determine which tier the offender is listed under.
Those hearings are not open to the public.
All Tier 3 offenders, the highest risk, are put on the internet registry.
But Tier 2 offenders can be deemed a lesser risk and not put online, which apparently happened in Rodriguez’s case. He was properly registered and had the 713 Cincinnati Ave. home where the new charge allegedly took place since 2010, officials confirmed.
The home is about a tenth of a mile from the Charles Spragg Elementary School.
It remained unclear whether the district was ever notified.
Officials have not returned calls seeking clarification.
Rodriguez is now charged is charged with sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child and violation of his parole supervision. The girl — who Rodriguez allegedly attempted to silence with money and gifts — told her mother what happened later that night.
Rodriguez will remain in the Atlantic County Justice Facility after Superior Court Judge Bernard DeLury ordered him detained Tuesday. He scored relatively low on the public safety assessment used under bail reform. But, he had a violence flag and the recommendation was that he be held. DeLury agreed.
Convicted sex offender accused of sexually assaulting girl in Egg Harbor City
A convicted Megan’s Law sex offender has been jailed in the sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl inside his Egg Harbor City home … Read more...