PISCATAWAY — A 71-year-old cab driver has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting two girls in separate incidents between 1995 and 2002, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan and Chief Richard Ivone of the Piscataway Police Department announced today.
Joseph T. Burns was arrested on Thursday, Nov. 10, in Highland Park shortly before 8 a.m. and was charged with two counts of second degree sexual assault and two counts of third degree endangering the welfare of each child, authorities said.
An investigation by Investigator Karleen A. Duca of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and Detective Caesar Pasquale of the Piscataway Police Department led to Burns’ arrest, according to the prosecutor’s office. Highland Park police assisted.
The investigation began after the victims reported the assaults to police, according to the prosecutor’s office. One victim, who is now 21 years old, told authorities she was sexually assaulted on numerous occasions when she was between the ages of 5 and 10. The second victim, who is now 16, was sexually assaulted on two occasions when she was 5 or 6 years old, authorities said.
The investigation determined the victims were sexually assaulted during visits to the defendant’s home in Piscataway and at a pool owned by one of Burns’ neighbors, officials said.
Authorities believe that there may be other witnesses to the alleged incidents between 1995 and 2002 and are urging them to contact police. Anyone with information on these, or similar incidents, may call Investigator Duca of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-732-745-3600, or Detective Pasquale of the Piscataway Police Department at 1-732-562-2350.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Burns are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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