FREEHOLD – An Ocean County man who had worked as a youth gymnastics coach in several locations across Monmouth County for approximately 30 years has been arrested and criminally charged with committing sexual offenses against three of the athletes he coached while they were juveniles, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Monday.
Sasha C. Raught, 55, of Manchester Township is charged with first-degree Aggravated Sexual Assault and three counts of second-degree Sexual Assault.
An investigation by members of the MCPO Special Victims Bureau revealed that Raught entered into sexual relationships with three of his former athletes when they were each teenagers. The first two alleged instances took place when he was employed at Shrewsbury Gymnastics during the early to mid-1990s, while the third instance took place in 2008, while he was employed at Jonas Gymnastics Academy in Marlboro.
Raught was arrested at his home without incident late last month by members of the Prosecutor’s Office and the Manchester and Shrewsbury Police Departments, then lodged in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) pending a detention hearing tentatively scheduled to take place on Wednesday, June 7 in Monmouth County Superior Court. The State has filed a motion to keep Raught detained as the criminal case against him proceeds.
Anyone with information about Raught’s activities is urged to contact MCPO Detective Joseph Pahopin toll-free at 1-800-533-7443. This case has been assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Keri-Leigh Schaefer.
Convictions on first-degree criminal charges can be punishable by terms of up to 20 years in state prison.
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.