FREEHOLD – A former Long Branch elementary school teacher has been charged with sexually assaulting a 10 year old student, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Gustavo Barrientos, 53, of Tinton Falls, is charged with first degree Aggravated Sexual Assault and second degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child. He resigned from the Long Branch Public Schools in March 2020.
Through the investigation, law enforcement learned that while employed as an elementary school teacher in the Long Branch School District, on multiple occasions, Barrientos would show a 10 year old female student pornography and sexually assault her.
The investigation was the product of a joint investigation by members of the Long Branch Police Department and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victim’s Bureau.
Barrientos was taken into custody on February 14, 2021, and transported to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold Township pending a detention hearing.
If convicted, the defendant is facing up to life imprisonment on the aggravated sexual assault charge and up to 10 years imprisonment on the Endangering the Welfare of a Child charge. In addition, he would be subject to Parole Supervision for Life and required to register under Megan’s Law.
Investigators are seeking additional information about Barrientos’ activities. Anyone with any information please contact Detective Todd Coleman of the Long Branch Police Department at 732-222-1000 or Detective Sergeant Shawn Murphy of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victim’s Bureau at 732-431-7160 ext. 7032.
In checking the Long Branch Board of Education public meeting minutes, published on their website, it noted that Barrientos received two suspensions. The first time was on September 20, 2018 and lists him as a student advisor.
The second suspension was on January 21, 2020, listed as a teacher. Both suspensions required that the district pay his full salary during the investigation. It was never stated what the reason for the suspensions were or who was conducting the investigations.
According to the district, Barrientos resigned in March 2020. His last reported salary on May 1, 2019 had him earning $68,245.00.
Anyone who feels the need to remain anonymous but has information about a crime can submit a tip to the Monmouth County Crime Stoppers by calling their confidential telephone tipline at 1-800-671-4400; by downloading and using the free P3 Tips mobile app (available on iOS and Android – https://www.p3tips.com/1182), by calling 800-671-4400 or by going to the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com.
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 case is assigned to Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Joseph Cummings of the Office’s Special Victims Bureau.