A Montclair State University student was arrested at his residence in Sinatra Hall today, Oct. 20, for the alleged sexual assault of another student at the Newark Broad Street rail station last month, police said.
Charles J. Jones, 20, is charged with second degree sexual assault for the Sept. 25 incident which was allegedly recorded on video by other Montclair State students and shared, according to police and the victim.
Jones, of Randolph, N.J., was taken into custody at 11:30 a.m. by NJ Transit Police and then transported to NJ Transit Police Headquarters in Newark, said Lt. Kieran Barrett of the University Police Department (UPD).
The victim, whose name The Montclarion is withholding, today sent her reaction via text: “I am so ecstatic and relieved that justice is being served in this case. I feel a huge weight off my shoulders and the fact that this guy won’t have the opportunity to hurt any more girls makes this traumatic experience worth it to me. I hope that my experience can teach other victims that it is the right thing to do to report sexual crimes against them and that closure and justice is possible.”
The Montclarion broke the story on Oct. 2 about the initial investigation surrounding the incident after the victim approached UPD to report that she had been sexually assaulted, that the assault had been recorded and that the video of the assault had been seen by several people.
She also made a statement on Sept. 27 via Twitter explaining her situation and that she had decided to speak out to dispel rumors that were circulating about what happened.
Her allegations were made in the form of a text post attached to a tweet on her account, which was widely shared on the social media platform and retweeted by @MontclairProbs, a popular account that retweets student complaints about campus.
In the text post, the student said that she was “sexually assaulted by an MSU student while other MSU students stood around and watched.” The video they took was allegedly sent around campus and back to people in her hometown. She did not name Jones in her post.
The student, who has said the incident took place after a fraternity party, said she had to drop out of school to get her life back on track after “this traumatizing incident.” She has said in statements published on her blog that the video was shot by “two mean girls.”
The individuals who allegedly filmed the assault have not yet been arrested or charged, but may be charged if the recording was made with intentions “malicious in nature,” according to Barrett. “If it were found that those [involved were] taking a video of someone in need of assistance, they could be charged with statutes related to failure to assist a victim and possibly invasion of privacy laws. If there [are] to be charges, at this stage, that portion would still be under investigation, to my knowledge,” Barrett said.
According to the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice, “sexual assault is a crime of the second degree” in which “the victim is one whom the actor knew or should have known was physically helpless, mentally incapacitated or had a mental disease or defect which rendered the victim temporarily or permanently incapable of understanding the nature of his conduct, including, but not limited to, being incapable of providing consent.”
Jones will appear before the county judge, who will determine the next steps for the Montclair State student.
Kristen Bryfogle, Editor-in-Chief, contributed to this article.