FRANKLIN, NJ–A 31-year-old resident of Whittier Avenue, in the Somerset section of the Township, was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a four-year-old child, according to authorities.
The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office (SCPO) announced the charges, specifically second-degree sexual assault of a minor less than 13 years of age, and third-degree endangering welfare of a child, against David Lutz on May 26.
One day prior, at approximately 3:25pm, the Township’s Police Department was called to an unidentified “local business” according to a statement from the office of Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.
“The caller reported that an individual, later identified as defendant David Lutz, had been observed touching a minor child (4 years of age) in a sexual nature, specifically by grabbing the child’s buttocks,” read the SCPO press release.
Media outlets reported that, per prosecutors, the child had been assaulted while their parent was “distracted.”
“It only took a few moments of a parent not paying attention to their child for a 31-year-old man from Franklin Township to begin inappropriately touching the toddler at a local business,” read one report on CentralJersey.com.
“Store employees detained defendant Lutz until the arrival of law enforcement,” noted the SCPO press release.
According to an investigation undertaken by detectives with the Franklin Township Police Department and the SCPO’s Office Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Unit, Lutz “was observed following the minor child throughout the store.”
“Subsequently the child, who was within close proximity of a parent, was observed being touched by defendant Lutz when the child’s parent was distracted,” says the announcement.
“This was observed by numerous individuals within the store.”
Lutz was lodged at the Somerset County Jail, pending a detention hearing.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.