Union Beach Man Accused of Groping Girls at Middletown Halloween Costume Shop
Five girls reported being inappropriately touched by the employee at the Spirit Halloween store on Route 35.
Mark F. Lenahan, 34, of Clark Avenue in Union Beach was arrested by Middletown Police on Thursday for allegedly touching five young girls at the Spirit Halloween costume store in the Pathmark shopping plaza in the New Monmouth section of Middletown. The incident happened around 4:30 p.m.
According to an arrest warrant, Lenahan was charged with four counts of committing sexual assault by committing sexual contact with each of the girls "specifically by grasping her buttocks while she was in the place of employment of the defendant." Sexual contact with a person under the age of 13 automatically upgrades the charge to sexual assault.
He was also charged with one count of aggravated criminal sexual contact.
Four of the five girls were under the age of 12, said Middletown Police, which means the alleged offense can be prosecuted as a crime of the second degree, punishable by up to five to ten years in prison.
The fifth girl was 13, said Middletown Police, which means it can be punishable as an alleged crime of the third degree, punishable by three to five years in prison.
Bail was set at $250,000 in full by Judge John R. Tassini. Lenahan was ordered to return to court on Nov. 13.
Police request anyone who may have witnessed the incident or who may have been victimized to please contact Detective Kimberly Best at (732) 706-4165 or Detective Kelly Godley at (732) 615-2066.