WALL TOWNSHIP - The fate of a former New Jersey Devils player now lies in the hands of a Wall Township judge.

Jim Dowd appeared in municipal court Wednesday to face simple assault charges. Dowd is the head coach for the Manasquan Point Pleasant hockey team, and is accused of kicking a 16-year-old player in the back in January after the boy made a bad play during a game.

The boy’s father filed a private citizen complaint against Dowd after the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office investigated the incident and found no probable cause.

Several players and an assistant coach testified that Dowd simply nudged the teen with his foot to get him back out on the ice.

However, the teen told the judge that the kick hurt his back. Two other players agreed during testimony that the kick was forceful.

When asked to speak about the case by News 12 New Jersey, Dowd said that he had no comment.

Dowd was briefly suspended as head coach by the Manasquan Board of Education, but he was reinstated after authorities decided not to press charges.

The judge will soon make a decision on the case.