Plainfield man charged with exposing self to 5-year-old in downtown dollar store

A Plainfield man has been charged with multiple sex crimes in connection with an incident that took place earlier this month in a city dollar store, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Friday.

Jose Montoya, 29, is charged with second-degree criminal sexual contact and third-degree endangering the welfare of a child.

The date was June 17 when the 5-year-old victim and her mother were shopping at the Family Dollar store on the 200 block of East Front Street in downtown Plainfield, according to the investigation. An unknown male later identified as Montoya allegedly cornered the girl in the store, exposed himself to her, started touching himself in a sexual manner, and requested that she touch him as well.

An investigation launched by the Plainfield Police Division and assisted by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit led to Montoya being identified as a suspect. Shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday afternoon, while two prosecutor’s office investigators and a group of Plainfield police officers were conducting a canvass of the area, the manager of the Family Dollar store called 911 to report that Montoya had just been seen in the store again. He was arrested moments later in the area of Watchung Avenue and East Front Street in Plainfield.

Bail was set at $100,000 by state Superior Court Judge Stuart Peim, and Montoya was ordered to surrender his passport and to have no contact with the victim.

Anyone with additional information about this matter or any previous incidents involving Mr. Montoya is being urged to contact Union County Prosecutor’s Office Sgt. Walter Johnson at 908-965-3890.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.