Retired Ocean City police Officer Charles Cusack had a long career that included working with the local school district before his arrest Saturday on charges of sexually assaulting a teenager.
Cusack, of Linwood, engaged in criminal sexual contact with a girl he oversaw as the supervisor of the city’s beach tag program, the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office said Monday.
The unnamed victim was at least 16 years old but younger than 18, the Prosecutor’s Office said. Cusack was arrested Saturday and released after posting a bond for $150,000 bail, set by Judge John Proto.
Officers from the department Cusack served in for 25 years before retiring in 2011 arrested him. He took the role of the beach tag supervisor last year, and in December he was also hired to serve as a supervisory aide in the high school from January through this past June.
He was also was elected in 1990 to the Northfield Board of Education when he lived in the city, Press of Atlantic City archives show.
An outspoken member of the local police union, Cusack also publicly advocated for city councils in both Ocean City and Linwood to approve new police contracts over the years.
He had been investigated at least once before in his time as an officer, according to Press archives, but that was for accidentally shooting himself in the leg in Philadelphia with his off-duty weapon in 1999. Philadelphia police cleared him of any wrongdoing.
The Prosecutor’s Office is handling the current investigation because of Cusack’s employment and history in Ocean City. If convicted on the current second-degree charge, Cusack faces a potential prison sentence of between five and 10 years.
Police Chief Chad Callahan was unwilling to talk Monday about the type of officer or person Cusack was when they served together. Callahan said that little other information would be released about the situation because of its sensitivity.
“It is paramount to protect (the victim’s) interests and keep her identity from becoming known to the public,” Callahan said. “Any time you have cases where you have juvenile victims, they will rarely provide any information other than the person arrested, his name, his residency, his age, stuff like that.”
The Prosecutor’s Office did not release any more information Monday. The office also did not immediately provide information about whether Cusack had retained an attorney.
A message requesting comment left on a phone number at a Linwood residence publicly listed under Cusack’s name was not immediately returned Monday.
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