Township Man Sentenced To 17 1/2 Years In Prison For Sexual Crimes

A 40-year-old township man was sentenced on May 11 to more than 17 years in state prison after his convictions on seven counts of sexual crimes.

Thomas Canales was sentenced by state Superior Court Judge Colleen Flynn, sitting in New Brunswick, to 17 1/2 years in state prison. He will have to serve 85 percent of 16 years of that sentence before he can be considered for parole, according to a press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

Canalas will also have to register as a Megan’s Law sex offender and will be placed on parole supervision for life upon his release from prison, according to the release.

In addition, Judge Flynn ordered a restraining order prohibiting Canalas, or anyone else on his behalf, to contact the victims or their families in any manner, the release said.

After a five-week trial that began in November 2017, Canales was found guilty of three counts of 2nd Degree Sexual Assault, three counts of 3rd Degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and one count of 4th Degree Sexual Contact, according to the release.

During the trial, Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Carver presented evidence and testimony showing that on various dates between April 19, 2016 and August 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, according to the release.

During the investigation, it was determined that Canales exposed himself to a 7-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, according to the release.

Canalas 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 August 25, 2016, according to the release.

Additional charges were filed after a subsequent investigation that determined that Canales exposed himself to an 11-year-old girl in North Brunswick on April 19, 2016, according to the release. 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 August 28, 2016, the release said.

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