Dad sees NJ sex offender leering at girl, but cops won’t arrest him
TOMS RIVER — A Jackson man is seeking justice after he said a registered sex offender made inappropriate contact with his young daughter while they were driving through town last week.
Steven Worthy said he was driving two of his children home from a basketball game in Toms River when his 10-year-old daughter told him a man in another car was "doing something weird." When he looked in the direction of the car, Worthy said he saw a man, later identified by police as Ronald Jakubowski, making eye contact with his daughter, blowing her kisses and "telling her to come here as he started to rub his chest in a circular motion near his nipple area," he said.
According to State Police records, Jakubowski is classified as a Tier 2 Repetitive Compulsive sex offender. He was convicted in 2008 of endangering the welfare of a child after he exposed himself to 10 and 11-year-old girls. He was then convicted again in 2015 of endangering the welfare of a child for exposing himself to a 7-year-old girl.
Worthy said he planned to confront the man but the light they were stopped at turned green and Jakubowski drove away. He followed the other car to a Wawa and blocked Jakubowski into a parking spot after calling the police. Officers arrived and separated the two, taking statements from the men and the young girl.
Worthy said he was not told about Jakubowski's criminal history or that he was a registered sex offender until the next day when he picked up the police report.
"Like any parent, when they hear that, that's when a switch goes off," he said.
After the incident, Worthy was told by the Toms River Police Department that they were not going to be able to arrest Jakubowski because police had not witnessed the inappropriate behavior.
In a portion of the police report provided to New Jersey 101.5, Jakubowski admitted seeing the girl and volunteered that he "has a deviance" that made him wave at her. However, he denied making any "sexual gestures."
Capt. Michael Brosnan told the Toms River Patch that Jakubowski could not be arrested because "harassment is a disorderly persons offense and the behavior was not observed by the reporting officer."
Worthy said he was shocked by the police's response.
"I just don't understand how a registered sex offender seemed to have more rights than my 10-year-old daughter," he said.
While no arrests were made, Worthy said he was advised that he could file a complaint to have Jakubowski charged with harassment. Worthy said he followed that advice and that they are now waiting for a court date and "trying to give people in the public awareness about this guy."
He said he has also used the incident as a teaching point for his daughter.
"I didn't give her any type of graphic details about this man's past. I told her she has to be aware of her surroundings at all times," he said. "I tell her when she's at a store, if you're walking with us at a shopping plaza, or anywhere, wherever you are just be aware of your surroundings."
He said he also made sure his daughter knew that she did the right thing by alerting him to the man's behavior. As a father of four children, Worthy said he is "trying to mold them into the best kids they can possibly be so this won't happen again."
It has been almost a week since the incident, and Worthy said it has caused him to lose sleep thinking about what happened and what could have happened.
Both of Jakubowski's convictions came in Middlesex County, but State Police records show he now lives at the Cedars Motel in Toms River. He was arrested in 2014 for exposing himself to a child in a Spotswood grocery store, according to a story on NJ.com. In that incident, Jakubowski had been seen by an off-duty loss prevention officer following children around the store and exposing himself, the story said.
State court records show a man matching Jakubowski's description pleaded guilty in 2015 to third-degree endangering the welfare of a child and sentenced to four years in custody at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Avenel. In 2010, he pleaded guilty to third-degree shoplifting and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.