Senate candidates angered by alleged sex offender’s return to Washington Township | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

An alleged child rapist with political ties has become an issue in the hotly-contested 4th district State Senate race, where both candidates are expressing outrage that he has returned to his Washington Township home as he awaits a court appearance next month.

Republican Christopher Del Borrello and Democrat Paul Moriarty, both Washinton Township residents, said they were disgusted by the release of Kevin Tomafsky, a former aide to Gov. Chris Christie, under a bail reform law shepherded by Christie in 2016.

“As a father, the allegations against Mr. Tomafsky make me sick to my stomach, and my heart goes out to this little girl whose innocence was stolen from her forever,” said Del Borrello, a former councilman.  “Now, to learn that the alleged perpetrator has been released from jail thanks to the ‘bail reform’ law that Paul Moriarty voted for in the Assembly makes me plain angry.”

Tomafsky, 41, was arrested last month on charges that he engaged in a sexual act with a six-year-old girl.

Moriarty put the blame on Renard Scott, a newly-seated Superior Court Judge who rejected a bid by  Assistant Gloucester County Prosecutor Bryant Flowers to keep Tomafsky at the Salem County Correctional Facility.

“There’s a special place in hell for predators who commit vile and egregious acts against children,” said Moriarty, an assemblyman and former Washington Township mayor.  “We have a situation where judicial discretion has completely failed us in a case where a serious crime has been charged.  It is abhorrent that a judge would not find clear and convincing evidence that pretrial detention is necessary for the protection and safety of the community from an individual charged with engaging in sexual acts with a six-year-old.”

Kevin Tomafsky. (Photo: Salem County Correctional Facility).

But Del Borrello believes that Moriarty should take responsibility for his vote.

“Actions have consequences, and in this case, Paul Moriarty’s actions have allowed an alleged child predator to walk out of jail, apparently with no restrictions on his ability to be around children,” he said.
“It’s outrageous.”

Moriarty thinks the judge has misinterpreted the legislative intent of the statute, saying that “bail reform was meant to help non-violent people with mental illness and drug addiction stay out of jail.”

“ It was not intended to give alleged criminals of this ilk a free pass to stay at their mother’s house,” said the nine-term lawmaker.   “I’m appalled by the judge’s decision, and the citizens in our community also have every right to be.   This situation shows us we must call for stronger accountability for judges and adopt procedural safeguards to ensure this never happens again.  The judiciary must promote public trust and confidence, and this decision undermines both.”

Scott, a former deputy attorney general who took office in July, did not find evidence that Tomafsky was a danger to the community.  Instead, the former Republican operative was barred from contact with the victim and was told to stay off the Internet – but was not ordered to keep his distance from children.

Prosecutors identified Tomafsky as the original recipient of a photo of a young female engaged in oral sex with an adult after a review of images supplied by Snapchat as the result of a warrant, court records show.  The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children tipped off law enforcement.

A grand jury indicted Tomafsky in July and arrested on August 15 on charges of engaging in sexual conduct with a child, conspiracy to endanger the welfare of a child, permitting a child to engage in pornography, and possessing child pornography.

Del Borrello wants the legislature to immediately return for a special session to repeal bail reform.

“No excuses and no delay,” he said.  “If a case like this doesn’t get them to act, what will?”

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