MAYS LANDING – A former Hammonton school district guidance supervisor has lost his appeal of a municipal conviction for lewdness in 2015, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said Wednesday.
Michael P. Ryan, 51, of Hammonton, was found guilty of an act of lewdness in Absecon Municipal Court in November. He was sentenced to one year of probation and $664 in fines.
According to a press release issued by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, an off-duty police officer of another municipality was in the parking lot of the South Jersey Laundry in Hammonton about Sept. 11, 2015, when he saw a man sitting inside a parked car masturbating.
The officer tried to detain the man, but the man drove away. The officer alerted others inside the business to call police and tried unsuccessfully to locate the driver.
On Sept. 26, 2015, the off-duty police officer again saw the man and car. He followed the car, obtained the license-tag number and contacted Hammonton police.
Ryan was charged with lewdness, a disorderly persons offense.
Because of his employment in the Hammonton public school district, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office superseded the municipal prosecutor and represented the state. The case was transferred to Absecon Municipal Court due to the potential conflict of interest.
Last Nov. 14, Judge John Rosenberger found Ryan guilty of an act of lewdness. Ryan appealed the conviction to Superior Court.
On May 18, Superior Court Judge Donna A. Taylor denied Ryan’s appeal of the Municipal Court’s conviction, finding “the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of lewdness.”
Hammonton school board President Sam Mento said Wednesday Ryan is no longer with the district. He said Ryan was suspended when he was charged and terminated after being convicted.
Mento said they were also notified by the state Department of Education that Ryan was disqualified from employment.