Man charged with sexually assaulting child in Morristown park

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A homeless man has been accused of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old boy in a Morristown park, authorities said on Wednesday.

John Dowd, 56, is in the Morris County Jail pending a detention hearing. He has been charged with first-degree Aggravated Sexual Assault and third-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child for an alleged incident at George Gramby Memorial Park on May 9, 2024.

“The four-year-old juvenile male victim reported that he was sexually assaulted by an unknown man while in the park,” according to a joint statement from Morris County Prosecutor Robert Carroll and Morristown Police Chief Darnell Richardson.

Authorities later identified the man as Dowd, who they described as a homeless invidual who frequents Morristown. The prosecutor’s office was notified on May 15, and Dowd formally was charged that day, the statement said.

No details about the condition of the child were released.

The alleged incident remains under investigation. Morristown police and the prosecutor’s Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit have had assistance from multiple law enforcement agencies, according to the statement.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit at (973) 285-6200, or Morristown police at
(973) 538-2200.