Home Latest Stories Ex-Ocean City Lifeguard Gets Probation in Assault Case

Ex-Ocean City Lifeguard Gets Probation in Assault Case

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Jonathan Howell must serve four years probation on child endangerment charges.

By LYNDA COHEN and MADDY VITALE

A former Ocean City lifeguard repeatedly named in sexual misconduct allegations was sentenced to probation after being indicted in the 2017 rape of a then-16-year-old rookie.

Jonathan C. Howell, now 42, was a teacher in Pleasantville when he was arrested June 2, 2022.

He was 36 years old in 2017, when he allegedly got the girl, also a lifeguard, drunk and then sexually assaulted her.

Howell pleaded guilty to second-degree endangering the welfare of a child and was sentenced to four years of probation.

Under the plea agreement, he must forfeit any future public employment. The allegations were not connected to his former teaching job in Pleasantville.

Because he did not plead guilty to a sex crime, he does not have to register as a Megan’s Law offender.

The initial charges alleged Howell brought the girl and another teen to an unnamed witness’s apartment, where they all consumed alcohol, according to the affidavit of probable cause previously reported by BreakingAC.com.

Following document is the plea agreement for Jonathan C. Howell:

The girl told detectives she “woke up to the room spinning and Howell standing in between her legs, saying, ‘You’re amazing,'” the affidavit states.

The girl was wearing only her shirt, with her panties at her ankles, she told investigators.

The Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office conducted “a thorough investigation into these allegations and this sentence was as a result of this investigation,” Prosecutor Jeffrey Sutherland said in a news release.

The investigation began after an Instagram account posted claims of longtime sexual misconduct within the Ocean City Beach Patrol went public April 14, 2021.

Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian brought on Allan Karas, a retired supervisory special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, in 2021 as part of the restructuring of the beach patrol.

Since then, Karas has done a top-to-bottom reorganization of the beach patrol, establishing new policies and procedures for everything from personnel to lifeguarding.

Doug Bergen, Ocean City’s spokesman, said Gillian would not comment on the sentencing or the restructuring of the beach patrol.

Sutherland said in the news release that his office “will continue to work hand in hand with the local municipalities to aggressively investigate and prosecute violent crimes within the county.”

Senior Assistant Prosecutor Bryna Batten prosecuted the case.

To anonymously report information regarding any criminal activity within the Cape May County community, contact the Cape May County Sheriff’s Tip Line at cmcsheriff.net and click on anonymous tip or through the Cape May County Crime Stoppers at 609-889-3597, or the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-465-1135.