Recently released Megan’s Law offender charged in sexual assault of Mullica teen


A recently released Megan’s Law offender is back in jail on sexual assault charges.

Marcelino Cruz, 33, is accused of having sex with the girl who is at least 13 but younger than 16, according to the charges.

Cruz was just released from South Woods State Prison in November, on a conviction of endangering the welfare of a minor, sex acts, according to the state Department of Corrections.

He then became friends with the girl while visiting a neighbor in Mullica Township, according to the affidavit of probable cause obtained by BreakingAC.

On Aug. 6, he allegedly went into the unlocked back door of the girl’s home, took off both their pants and had sexual intercourse with her while his hand was over her mouth, the affidavit states.

The girl’s mother discovered messages between her daughter and Cruz through the iCloud the two share, the affidavit states.

In the messages, the girl asks Cruz if he’s having sex with other girls while he’s trying to have sex with her, according to the affidavit. He responds that “he hasn’t been with anyone since he was with her.”

The girl and her mother went to the Mullica Township police and reported the incident.

The phone number used in the text messages was the same one Cruz used when he registered as a sex offender, the affidavit shows.

Cruz was living at a home in Hammonton, about three miles from the Mullica Elementary School, according to the charges.

He was not listed on the public online registry, which is not required of all offenders.

Cruz is charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault and one count of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child.

He in the Atlantic County Justice Facility pending a detention hearing set for Friday.