BERKELEY – A teacher and former political candidate was arrested and charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Lewdness, police said.
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.
The minor told authorities, which opened up an investigation by the district and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit. Eckersley was surrendered by his attorney on Feb. 13. He was processed and released pending a future court date.
“I’d like to commend the Central Regional Board of Education and Dr. Triantafillos Parlapanides, Superintendent, for their patience and cooperation in our criminal investigation of Mr. Eckersley,” Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer said.
A Facebook page that prides itself on uncovering corruption challenged Central Regional, stating they were hiding things. Parlapanides answered that he had to wait until the investigation ran its course and published his contact information for anyone who had questions.
“People have due process and investigations take time…The students and their success are always our number one priority,” he wrote.
This same Facebook page also identified an alleged victim, which might be illegal.
Eckersley ran unsuccessfully for Berkeley Township Council last year. During the campaign, he told this newspaper that he was serving as an “executive officer within the Central Regional Education Association as the Association secretary, and in elected positions with the New Jersey Education Association as a Delegate Assembly member, and in the National Education Association as a Resolutions Committee member serving over 3 million educators nationwide.”
He did not return an attempt to contact him regarding this matter.
The prosecutor’s office reminded readers that all defendants are innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.