A longtime church organist in southern New Jersey is accused of sexually assaulting five young boys over a 30-year period.
Winslow police say 71-year-old Joseph Cuthbert of Sicklerville faces five counts each of aggravated sexual assault, criminal sexual contact and child endangerment. He was being held on $250,000 cash bail following his arrest on Wednesday.
Authorities say one of the alleged victims recently reported that Cuthbert began sexually assaulting him last fall. Further investigation into those claims led to four more males who claimed Cuthbert had assaulted them.
Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.
Cuthbert met the youths while serving as an organist for various churches in southern Jersey. Investigators say the abuse began in 1984.
"Generally there are more victims out there," said Winslow Township Sergeant Chris Dubler. "Once they see this they might feel more comfortable to come forward."
Those who know Cuthbert say they're shocked by the allegations against him.
"I never expected anything like that at all," said Cuthbert's neighbor, Barbara Decicco. "Unbelievable."
Before his arrest, Cuthbert volunteered at Erial Community Church in Sicklerville as an organist. Before that, he spent years at Christ Community Church in Newfield, Gloucester Township. Both churches asked for healing during prayer services Wednesday night.
"Pray for those boys," said Christ Community Pastor Tony Wilson. "Pray for the situation in general."
If you're a victim or have information on any additional victims, please call Detective Cary Robinson of the Winslow Twp. Criminal Investigations Division at 609-561-3300 ext.#1147.