NAYZE MEDIA (STAFF)
LOCAL: OCEAN CITY, N.J.
Cover Photo Courtesy: Victoria Advocate
40-year old, Jonathan Howell, a former Ocean City Beach Patrol member, has reportedly been arrested on sexual assault charges. A 6 ABC Action News report said, Howell’s arrest is the result of a year-long investigation that began in April of 2021.
The investigation began when an Instagram account with the name “ocbp_predators” began sharing dozens of anonymous allegations against unnamed members of the OCBP. The anonymous creator of the page reportedly told Action News that the page was created after a female lifeguard asked for help.
An affidavit states that over 30 recorded interviews have been conducted in connection to the investigation. The interviews were filled with witnesses claiming to have been victims of sexual harassment, sexual comments, sexual contact, sexual assault. The affidavit goes on to accuse members of the OCBP of providing alcohol/dangerous substances to minors, and failure to properly address complaints.
The affidavit specifically names Jonathan Howell repeatedly, as one of the staff who regularly engaged in this behavior. Most of the lifeguards that came forward to make statement were reportedly juveniles at the time of their encounters with Howell. Authorities said, his position as senior lifeguard gave him authority over them.
In a 2017 incident, Howell is alleged to have provided alcohol to a 16-year old female and later sexually assaulted her. At the time of the incident, Howell was a senior guard who directly supervised the victim.
Howell has been charged with sexual assault, official misconduct, and endangering the welfare of a child.