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Attorney: Cusack Will Plead Not Guilty To Sexual Assault

The retired Ocean City police officer is charged with second-degree criminal sexual contact involving an employee of the beach-tag department, which he supervised.

Charles Cusack, a retired Ocean City police officer accused of criminal sexual contact with a young employee he supervised as a beach-tag inspector, will enter a not guilty plea when the time comes, according to the high-powered attorney representing him.

"A defense investigation is underway, and our plea is not guilty," wrote Louis Barbone, of the Jacobs and Barbone law firm in Atlantic City, in an email Thursday in response to a query by Ocean City Patch. "We're not in a position to comment further at this time. No discovery has been produced by the state to date."

Cusack, 49, was arrested in Ocean City about 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, while on duty in his capacity as supervisor in the beach-tag office, city police said. He was in his second season in that post after retiring from OCPD in 2011.

Cusack was released after posting $150,000 bond. He was suspended from the beach-tag job pending outcome of the investigation, city officials said.

Police and Cape May County Prosecutor Robert Taylor, whose Major Crimes Unit is handling the case, released a joint press release on Aug. 6 stating that Cusack, of Egg Harbor Township, is alleged to have had sexual contact with an individual between the ages of 16 and 18 over whom he had authority. A conviction for the second-degree offense carries a sentence of five to 10 years in prison.

First Assistant Prosecutor Rob Johnson said on Friday that the office continues to investigate the case and would not comment beyond that.

Among a variety of civil and criminal cases, Barbone's clients include former Wildwood Mayor Gary DeMarzo, Margate City Clerk Tom Hiltner and Hamilton Township Deputy Mayor Charles Cain.

Cusack worked in Ocean City High School as a resource officer for two years before he retired from the Ocean City Police Department. He then was hired as a civilian hallway aide in January. His position was eliminated as of June 30, according to the school district's solicitor.

An Aug. 6 letter from Superintendent of Schools Kathleen Taylor to Ocean City High School parents and guardians assured them that the school had received no complaints involving Cusack while he was employed in the school, but it included information for parents to contact investigators if they had any additional information on the case.

The letter also noted the counselors are available to any student who may need support.

Virgil Harris September 01, 2012 at 02:56 PM
OJ Simpson plead not guilty as well and we all know better.
Paige Cochrane September 01, 2012 at 05:11 PM
he's not OJ Simpson.
Jack Bumpus September 01, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Obviously Virgil you are another private citizen that knows more details about this than anyone else! It must be a gift to be blessed with such insight! May the public be as forgiving of you should you ever be accused of commiting any type of crime. Remember the American Justice System was built on the principal of innocent until proven guilty... Except here in Ocean City thanks to people like you!
OC4EVER September 01, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Jack Bumpus - Virgil is an ass! The courts will decide whether Mr. Cusack is guilty or innocent. They have all the information, not Virgil.
Louissa September 02, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Virgil is (as his name implies) a hillbilly from the deep woods of Kentucky ignore him
Robert McKenna, MIKE September 03, 2012 at 03:25 PM
When this arrest was first published way back at the beginning of August, there must have been a hundred comments to lock this guy up and throw away the key. I am certainly happy to see cooler heads prevail now (except Virgil), and believe in innocent until proven guilty. Many charges of this nature are frivolous and ruin a person's life guiltless or not. If he is guilty, the crime is heinous; he should be punished to the fullest extent. However, if innocent, he will still come out a loser... it is the nature of sex charges.
Mouse September 24, 2012 at 02:06 AM
It's been 3 weeks since this report, what's going on with these charges? August 4, 2010 was the intial arrest. OCHS has hired a private detective. What's the status of these charges?

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