Courtroom stock Tarver

Christopher Tarver was sentenced to 52 years in state prison on June 1 for multiple counts including sexual assault. 

A former Dunellen recreation director and ex-Middlesex County College men’s basketball coach was sentenced June 1 to serve 52 years in prison after he was found guilty of engaging in sexual acts with children, having child pornography and official misconduct.

Christopher Tarver, 47, of Jackson will serve 25 years before he is eligible for parole, will have to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and be placed on parole supervision for life if once released from prison, according to a release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's office on June 1. 

During the investigation leading up to his conviction, authorities determined that between June 1, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2011, while serving as a coach and recreation director Tarver had multiple sexual acts with a child in Edison, Dunellen and Atlantic City. Through a search warrant, authorities found child pornography in his Jackson home.

On Nov. 15, 2017, Tarver was found guilty on 20 counts including endangering the welfare of a child, engaging in a pattern of official misconduct, sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, official misconduct, and possessing child pornography.

"When the crimes were committed, Tarver had supervisory power and the legal duty or responsibility for the care of the victim who was under 18 years of age," the prosecutor's office said in a statement. 

On Feb. 22, he also pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office to four remaining counts for endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct, official misconduct and a pattern of official misconduct.

The Feb. 22 plea will run concurrent to the 52-year sentence stemming from his 2017 conviction.

According to reports, Taver was Dunellen’s recreation director from 2004 to 2014, when he was suspended after being arrested. He was a basketball coach at Middlesex County College from 2006 to 2014. In 2010, he was named the team’s head coach.

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Christopher Lang is a freelance correspondent for MonroeNow. Previously he was part of The Record-USA Today Network and served as an editor for a decade at NJMG.