YMCA employee charged with sex assault of girl in Maple Shade, New Jersey

MAPLE SHADE, N.J. (WPVI) -- Prosecutors have charged an employee of a South Jersey YMCA, who also worked at several schools in Burlington and Camden counties, with sexually assaulting a child and manufacturing child pornography.

The Burlington County prosecutor says 21-year-old Jermaine Ward of Camden assaulted a young girl in Maple Shade earlier this year and used his cell phone to record the crime.

Ward has been charged with two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (First Degree, Third Degree) and Sexual Assault (Second Degree).

He was taken into custody Sunday morning in Camden.

The prosecutor says Ward knew his victim and her family.

Ward was employed by the YMCA of Burlington and Camden counties, and worked in two area schools through the organization's Prime Time before-school and after-school programs, officials say.

He worked at the Beverly City School on Bentley Avenue in Beverly, New Jersey and at the Carson Elementary School on Garfield Avenue in Pennsauken.

Prosecutor Scott Coffina explained why authorities want to reach out to the public about Ward's employment:

"Because he had access to children, and the nature of his crimes, we're asking anyone who had information or concerns that he may have engaged in any misconduct with children to come forward, call law enforcement and we will investigate."

Coffina say there may be more victims.

Anyone who thinks Ward may have had inappropriate contact with their child is encouraged to contact Burlington County Central Communications at 609-265-7113 or Camden County Prosecutor's Office Special Victims Unit Detective Jenna Bindig at 856-580-5782.

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