A 60-year-old Megan’s Law registrant who is forbidden from having unsupervised contact with children was found at his Washington Township home with a 4-year-old boy during a home visit by his parole officer, authorities said Friday.
Late Friday, authorities also filed child neglect charges against a 22-year-old Belvedere man who left the boy in the 60-year-old’s care — knowing he was a convicted sex offender.
The little boy, who is not related to defendant Louis Masino but was being cared for by him, told a Morris County Prosecutor’s Office detective that Masino handcuffed him behind his back and he took a nap with him without his clothes on, an arrest affidavit said. The child also stated that he was scared of Masino, the affidavit said.
A state parole officer on Thursday went to Masino’s Mission Road home for a visit because, as a convicted sex offender, Masino is subject to supervision or parole for life. The officer noticed Masino caring for the child with no other adults present, and that both Masino and the boy were dressed only in shorts with no shirts on.
As a condition of his lifetime supervision, Masino — who is employed as a stock clerk for an A&P Supermarket in Mount Arlington — is not allowed to have unsupervised contact with minors under the age of 18.
Washington Township police filed 4th-degree child abuse or neglect charges against Jesse Jay Shores, the child’s 22-year-old guardian, on Friday afternoon after he admitted knowing Masino was a sex offender when he left the boy in his care. Shores is being held in Morris County jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.
Masino, who previously has lived in Succasunna and Netcong, was accused in 1996 of molesting and endangering the welfare of a child, who was a family friend. For this offense, he was placed on probation for five years and ordered to register with police as a convicted sex offender under Megan’s Law in 2000. He failed to register his address with police in Netcong in 2002 and spent 30 days in the county jail, according to court records.
Once his regular probation period ended, his “community supervision” or parole began.
Detectives from the prosecutor’s office and Washington Township police department interviewed Masino on Thursday, and he allegedly admitted to being alone with the boy and having sexual urges toward him. The affidavit said he stated that he was laying down with the child and rubbed his groin against the boy’s buttocks and touched them with his hands.
Masino has been classified as a sex offender at moderate risk of re-offending, and he is among the Megan’s Law registrants posted on-line on the state’s sex offender registry.
Masino is being held in the Morris County jail on $225,000 bail, charged with two counts of sexual assault and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.
“This is just another example of interagency cooperation,” county Prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi said. “I applaud the efforts of the New Jersey Division of Parole Senior Parole Officer Ricardo James for his investigative efforts as part of the community supervision for life program. This case underscores the significant importance of the program. More importantly, I credit the parole officers for identifying the violation and making the call to Morris County law enforcement.”