BERKELEY – More information has been made public regarding lewdness charges against a teacher.
Joshua Eckersley, 33, of Berkeley Township is accused of performing a lewd act in the presence of a minor on school property on Jan. 12. He was employed as a math teacher at Central Regional Middle School.
He was charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Lewdness. The prosecutor’s office reminded readers that all defendants are innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Several news sources described contents of an affidavit of probable cause in support of the charges against Eckersley.
The alleged incident happened on a weekend day. The student was there for an athletic event. It is unclear what Eckersley was doing on school property. It is unknown if the girl was a student of the school or if she was a visiting student.
According to reports, a girl went to the girls’ locker room and saw Eckersley near the shower area. He was bare chested with his hands “in front of his genitals.” Neither said a word to each other as she went toward the bathroom stalls. She later looked back and saw that the suspect was nude. She left the locker room and reported the incident to her coaches.
Security camera footage was viewed by police, who, according to reports, saw Eckersley attempt to go into the boys’ locker room first. He instead went into the girls’ room. He was next seen a few minutes later in a hallway, fully clothed.
“The Central Regional School District has been made aware that one of our teaching staff members, Josh Eckersley, was arrested on allegations of unprofessional conduct. We are very troubled by this incident and have been fully cooperating with law enforcement and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office in their investigation. Please understand that we cannot provide information that would interfere with the ongoing investigation and the legal process,” Superintendent Triantafillos Parlapanides said in a statement. “The safety and security of our students is our utmost priority. In that respect, Mr. Eckersley has not been and will not be on school grounds or in any of our buildings until this matter is concluded. We have made support services available for any of our students that may need assistance.”
Eckersley ran unsuccessfully for Berkeley Township Council in 2019.