Little Egg Harbor police chief warns community about convicted sex offender
The Little Egg Harbor police chief took to social media this week to warn his community about a convicted sex offender accused of another alleged offense who was released from jail.
Chief Rich Buzby's decision was somewhat controversial because he had not yet been given the go-ahead by the courts to make such notifications.
"We couldn't take the risk of having another child harmed, even if we weren't textbook correct," Buzby says.
The Facebook post did not name the alleged offender, but a previous release by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office named him as 20-year-old Christopher Wilson.
Wilson allegedly offered a 12-year-old girl gaming equipment in exchange for sexual favors, according to the prosecutor. Wilson has prior sex convictions. The incident allegedly happened at the girl's bus stop, about 100 yards from his home.
Members of the community tell News 12 New Jersey that they did not know about Wilson's history. An offenders Megan's Law tier allows for different levels of notification after they are released from jail. Prosecutors labeled Wilson as a Tier 3, the most likely to reoffend. But Wilson's attorney filed an appeal, preventing police from making door-to-door notifications.
The appeals process may take weeks or months. Wilson was released under the state's new bail reform protocol. He remains living near his alleged victim.
The Little Egg Habor deputy mayor says she agrees with Chief Buzby's decision to warn the public.
"I applaud the chief for what he is doing and for keeping the committee informed," says Barbara Crea.
News 12 New Jersey went to Wilson's home for comment, but he called the police on the reporter.