Watch CBS News

South Jersey Church Organist Charged With Sexually Abusing 5 Boys

By Todd Quinones

WINSLOW TOWNSHIP, N.J., (CBS) -- Police indicate five juvenile victims over the past 30 may have been sexually assaulted by a church organist, and there may be more victims.

Winslow Township Police say 71-year-old Joseph Cuthbert was a volunteer organist here at the Erial Community Church in Gloucester Township.

Police say Cuthbert worked for years as an organist for several South Jersey churches and that is how he came into contact with his juvenile victims.

His neighbor and fellow parishioners say Cuthbert is a dedicated Christian who can recite bible passages.

"Very, very hard to believe. It's mind boggling. It's just unbelievable," neighbor Barbara DeCicco said.

Winslow Township Police tell CBS 3 the initial alleged victim recently came forward claiming Cuthbert sexually assaulted him around September of last year.

The subsequent investigation police say led to four other alleged victims dating back 30 years.

Police say the 71-year-old who was arrested at his Sicklerville home was also an organist for a time at Christ Community Church in Newfield.

"I thought it was a joke. I really did," neighbor Joan Warner said.  "I still can't believe it really."

Joseph Cuthbert was charged with five counts of aggravated sexual assault, five counts criminal sexual contact and five counts endangering the welfare of a child. He was remanded to the Camden County Jail on $250,000 full cash bail.

Police are now asking that any additional victims or those who have information on the victims call the Winslow Twp. Criminal Investigations Division at 609-561-3300 ext. #1147.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.