A 40-year-old man from Franklin Township has been sentenced to serve 17-and-a-half years in a New Jersey state prison for the sexual crimes he committed in multiple jurisdictions.
Thomas Canales, 40, was sentenced on May 11 after he was found guilty by a jury on Jan. 2 of seven criminal counts, including three counts of sexual assault in the second degree, three counts of endangering the welfare of a child in the third degree, and one count of sexual contact in the fourth degree, according to information provided by Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey.
During a five week trial that began on Nov. 28, 2017, Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Carver presented evidence and testimony showing that on various dates between April 19 and Aug. 28, 2016, Canales committed sexual offenses against four victims, three of whom were children, in multiple jurisdictions including Edison, Highland Park, New Brunswick and North Brunswick.
He was charged during an investigation by Detective Bill Coleman of the New Brunswick Police Department, Detective Dominick DeCarlo of the Edison Police Department and Detective Mark Morris of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.
During the investigation, it was determined that Canales exposed himself to a seven-year-old girl in New Brunswick on July 3, 2016. In that case, he was convicted of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
He also was convicted of criminal sexual contact for improperly touching a 32-year-old woman at a playground in an apartment complex in Edison on Aug. 25, 2016.
Additional charges were filed after a subsequent investigation by Detective Sean McGraw of the Highland Park Police Department, Detective Michael Braun of the North Brunswick Police Department and Detective Mark Morris of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, according to the statement.
That investigation determined that Canales exposed himself to an 11-year-old girl in North Brunswick on April 19, 2016. He was convicted in that case of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
He was also convicted of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child for improperly touching a 11-year-old girl in Highland Park on Aug. 28, 2016, according to the statement.
Sixteen years of the sentence for Canales is subject to the No Early Release Act. As such, he will have to serve 85 percent of that term before he can be released on parole.
Superior Court Judge Colleen Flynn, sitting in New Brunswick, ordered Canales to register as a Megan’s Law sex offender and also ordered he be placed on parole supervision for life upon his release from prison, according to the statement.
In addition, Flynn ordered a restraining order prohibiting the defendant, or anyone else on his behalf, to contact the victims or their families in any manner.