FREEHOLD – An English teacher at Red Bank Regional High School has been arrested and criminally charged with having a long-term sexual relationship with a former student, starting when she was enrolled at the school, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Monday.

Michael F. Canning, 41, of Long Branch is charged with second-degree Sexual Assault, second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and fourth-degree Criminal Sexual Contact.

An investigation involving members of the MCPO Special Victims Bureau and the Red Bank Police Department revealed that the alleged criminal conduct by Canning began in 2015, when the victim was a junior, and extended into 2019. On numerous occasions during that time, Canning allegedly engaged in sexual acts with the victim at various locations in Red Bank, Little Silver, and Shrewsbury.

Canning was arrested without incident in Oceanport on Saturday and transported to Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI), where he remains incarcerated pending a first appearance and detention hearing to take place in Monmouth County Superior Court.

Michael F. Canning

This matter remains under joint investigation by members of the MCPO Special Victims Bureau and Red Bank Police Department. Anyone with information about Canning’s activities is being urged to contact MCPO Detective Kayla Santiago at 800-533-7443 or Red Bank Police Department Detective Paul Perez at 732-530-2700.

This case is being prosecuted by the MCPO Special Victims Bureau Director, Assistant Prosecutor Danielle Zanzuccki. Canning is being represented by Mitchell J. Ansell, Esq., with an office in Ocean Township.

“These allegations constitute an egregious betrayal of the immense degree of faith we place upon teachers to always act in the best interests of the young minds they are entrusted to develop and educate,” Acting Prosecutor Santiago said. “The charges filed this weekend are emblematic of our firm commitment to ensure that such conduct is never tolerated, and always met with swift action.”    

Anyone who prefers to remain anonymous but has information about this or any crime can submit a tip to Monmouth County Crime Stoppers by calling their confidential telephone tip-line at 1-800-671-4400; by downloading and using the free P3 Tips mobile app (available on iOS and Android –, by calling 800-671-4400; or by going to the website at

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.