A chaperone accused of engaging in a shower game with an 11-year-old can clear his name and have a child endangerment charge dismissed.
Donald Hertel of Rockaway Township has been admitted into Morris County's pre-trial intervention program.
The 46-year-old will be on probation for two years.
Hertel was supervising several youths at a YMCA in 2006 when he allegedly asked the boy to open his swimsuit to see how long the boy could stand having hot and cold water sprayed on his genitals.
Hertel did not deny the game was played but defense lawyer Gerard Hanlon had insisted there was no sexual purpose or intent behind a game he characterized as horseplay. Prosecutors argued that the game was sexual because it focused on the child’s genitals and Hertel had directed the youth not to tell his mother, according to the Daily Record.
His conviction was overturned last July because of confusing jury instructions.
Two female jurors had written the trial judge after the verdict, aghast at learning that Hertel faced a prison sentence and contending that they felt pressured by a male juror to convict on child endangerment. One juror had said she believed Hertel should be taught a lesson not to engage in inappropriate behavior with youths but didn’t think he should go to prison, the Record reports.
The Daily Record of Parsippany reports assistant prosecutor LaJuan Tucker told the judge on Tuesday that the boy is now a man and doesn't want to testify in a new trial.