A Pleasantville school teacher who worked as an Ocean City lifeguard was arrested Thursday on charges that he sexually assaulted a minor, according to a news release from the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office.
Jonathan C. Howell, 40, of Marmora, who is a former member of the Ocean City Beach Patrol, was charged with aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, official misconduct and endangering the welfare of a child, authorities said.
Howell was taken into custody without incident by members of the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and Cape May County Sheriff’s Office.
A court authorized search warrant was also executed at Howell’s residence in the 200 block of Regal Drive in Marmora.
Howell is currently employed as a teacher by the Pleasantville School District, the release says. According to Prosecutor Jeffrey Sutherland, in April 2021 the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office was notified of a social media post that made numerous allegations against the Ocean City Beach Patrol.
Since that time, the Prosecutor’s Office has conducted a thorough investigation into the allegations. The charges against Howell and the execution of the search warrant are the result of the investigation, the release stated.
Howell was processed and charged at the Prosecutor’s Office. He is currently lodged in the Cape May County Correctional Facility pending court proceedings.
If convicted on all counts, Howell faces decades in state prison.
Sutherland said this is an ongoing investigation. He urged anyone who has additional information relating to this investigation to contact the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office at 609 465-1135, or anonymously through the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office Anonymous TIP System by visiting cmcpo.tips from any computer, tablet, or smart phone.
Information can also be reported to the Cape May County Sheriff’s Tip Line at cmcsheriff.net by clicking on anonymous tip, or through the Cape May County Crime Stoppers at 609-889-3597.