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Prosecutor: South Toms River councilman sexually abused foster daughter in his care

William Gleason was ordered to remain in jail pending his next court appearance.

Jim Murdoch

Dec 6, 2023, 10:49 PM

Updated 198 days ago

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Horrific details about the years of sexual abuse investigators say a child suffered while in the care of a South Toms River councilman were revealed in court on Wednesday.
William Gleason, 68, remained silent as he sat in court Wednesday afternoon for his detention hearing. Prosecutors argued the alleged abuse of this victim started when she was just 11 years old and continued until she turned 18.
"She also talks about how the defendant would demand sexual acts from her on a daily basis and he would not let her go to her friend's house or get something from the store unless she was nice to him first," said Assistant Prosecutor Christine Lento. "She specifically recalls the defendant utilizing an endoscopy camera in regards to abusing her as well."
Defense attorney Clifford Yannone argued for Gleason's release on conditions he would be monitored electronically.
"Mr. Gleason also enjoys the presumption of innocence and the state will have to prove with each allegation beyond a reasonable doubt," said Yannone.
Judge Kenneth Palmer called the allegations "incredibly disturbing" and ruled Gleason remain in jail.
"This defendant was a foster parent putting himself around children purposely volunteering to serve in a recreation department in this township purposely. He has placed himself over the years and spots where he has access to children," said Judge Palmer.
Gleason’s next court appearance is scheduled for next month. If convicted, he faces a minimum of 25 years to life in jail.


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