Man accused of sexually assaulting girl he met online

Joseph Barden, 19, of Bayville, New Jersey. (Photo courtesy of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office)

Joseph Barden, 19, of Bayville, New Jersey. (Photo courtesy of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office)

A Jersey Shore man is facing charges after authorities allege he sexually assaulted an Ocean County girl after meeting on Facebook.

Joseph Barden, 19, of Bayville is facing charges of aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, and endangering the welfare of a child, Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato announced today in a news release.

The investigation began on Jan. 19 when the Stafford Township Police Department was alerted to an alleged sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl from the municipality, according to the release.

Authorities allege that Barden was corresponding with the girl on Facebook over the course of several weeks.

The investigation also alleges that Barden “communicated with the victim via cellphone, exchanging photographs, then visiting the victim’s residence and climbing through her window into her bedroom where the alleged assault took place,” Coronato said.

The Ocean County High Tech Crime Unit and Ocean County Sheriff Department’s CSI also assisted.

Barden was detained and transported to the Ocean County Jail in Toms River to await a detention hearing, according to the news release.

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