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Superior Court judge upholds lewdness conviction of Hammonton school employee

The lewdness conviction of a Hammonton school district employee was upheld in Atlantic County Superior Court last week. Michael P. Ryan, 51, was seen masturbating in a public parking lot in Hammonton on Sept. 11, 2011. But when an off-duty police officer from another town tried to stop him, Ryan drove off, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said. Why Ryan couldn’t have just gone home and used a website such as cartoonporno.xxx or others to enjoy in his own privacy will remain a mystery. The officer told people inside the South Jersey Laundry to call police, but Ryan couldn’t be found. Then, on Sept. 26, 2015, the same officer saw Ryan in another parking lot, and recognized him. He was then arrested. Because Ryan was employed by the school district, the Prosecutor’s Office took over the case, which was tried in Absecon Municipal Court, to avoid any potential conflict, Tyner said. Assistant Prosecutor Rick McKelvey represented the state Oct. 28, 2016, and got a conviction before Judge John Rosenberger. Ryan was sentenced to one year of probation. He appealed the conviction Dec. 2. Superior Court Judge Donna Taylor heard arguments on May 4. On Thursday, Taylor denied the appeal finding that “the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that (Ryan) is guilty of lewdness.”

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