FREEHOLD – A Monmouth County grand jury has returned a 20-count indictment against a former Middlesex County Sheriff’s Officer charged with videotaping violent sexual assaults of multiple unconscious women over the span of three years, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Monday.
Joshua Padilla, 36, was indicted Friday and is now charged with eight counts of first-degree Aggravated Sexual Assault, seven counts of third-degree Invasion of Privacy, four counts of third-degree Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact, and one count of second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
In February 2019, members of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Victims Bureau arrested Padilla, a resident of Berkeley Place in Eatontown, in relation to an investigation by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.
As a result of the investigation, Padilla was found to be in possession of numerous videos of himself performing sexual acts upon women who were clearly unconscious and unresponsive. Additionally, the defendant was found to be in possession of child sexual abuse materials. Many of these crimes took place at the defendant’s home in Eatontown, with others occurring in Middlesex County.
The sexual assault charges outlined today relate to three different adult victims and crimes taking place from 2016 into 2018, but investigators continue to seek additional information about Padilla’s activities. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Brian Hammarstrom of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-431-7160, Ext. 6413.
“These were truly unspeakable crimes against utterly helpless victims,” Acting Prosecutor Linskey said. “We are encouraged by the progress made so far in shepherding this case through the criminal justice system, but troubled by the prospects of other victims being out there who have yet to come forward – and who may not even have known they were victimized. We urge anyone with any information about the activities of this defendant to step forward and tell us what they know.”
Anyone who wishes to make an anonymous report about this case can call the Monmouth County Crime Stoppers’ confidential tip line at 1-800-671-4400. Tipsters can also text “MONMOUTH” and their tip to 274637, or they can email a tip via the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com.
The investigation into Padilla has thus far resulted in criminal charges in three different jurisdictions; in July 2019, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania announced that it was indicting him for producing, distributing, and being in possession of child sexual abuse materials after he allegedly recorded himself engaging in unlawful sexual contact with a 17-year-old girl in Pennsylvania and later uploaded the video online. In March 2021, Padilla pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual contact with a minor in relation to the aforementioned investigation by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, admitting to attempting to meet with an undercover agent posing as a 14-year-old girl and digitally sharing with her sexually graphic images of himself.
If convicted on the charges filed in Monmouth County Superior Court, Padilla would face up to 20 years in state prison on each count of Aggravated Sexual Assault, up to five years on each count of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact, up to five years for each count of Invasion of Privacy, and up to 10 years for Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Additionally, he would be subject to Parole Supervision for Life and would be required to register under Megan’s Law.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendants have all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.
The defendant remains incarcerated in federal prison in Pennsylvania, and is no longer employed by the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office.
This case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Danielle Zanzuccki.