BEDMINSTER TWP., N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor John P. McDonald, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Bedminster Township Chief of Police Francesco Bernardo announced the arrest of Marcelo D. Schonhauser, age 45, Bedminster, New Jersey in relation to the sexual assault of two minors that occurred on Saturday, March 4, 2023, in Bedminster Township, New Jersey.
Prosecutor McDonald stated that on Sunday, March 5, 2023, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes/Child Abuse Unit was notified by the Bedminster Township Police Department of a report that an 8-year-old victim was sexually assaulted on March 4, 2023 while attending a social event at a residence in Bedminster. The 8-year-old female victim was interviewed at the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Child Advocacy Center by a detective from the Somerset County Sex Crimes/Child Abuse Unit. The 8-year-old disclosed being sexually assaulted by Marcelo Schonhauser on March 4, 2023. An investigation was conducted by detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes/Child Abuse Unit and detectives from the Bedminster Police Department.
On Monday, March 6, 2023, detectives learned of a second minor victim who also reported being sexually assaulted by Schonhauser. The second victim, a 7-year-old female was interviewed at the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Child Advocacy Center by a detective from the Sex Crimes/Child Abuse Unit. The 7-year-old victim also disclosed being sexually assaulted by Marcelo Schonhauser on March 4, 2023, while attending the same social event at a residence in Bedminster Township.
On Monday, March 6, 2023, defendant Schonhauser was arrested at his residence in Bedminster without incident and charged with two counts of 2nd degree Sexual Assault by Sexual Contact, and two counts of 3rd degree Endangering the Welfare of a Minor. Defendant Schonhauser was lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.
Prosecutor McDonald and Chief Fodor request anyone with information relating to the sexual assaults to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Sex Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, or the Bedminster Township Police Department at (908) 234-0585 or via the STOPit app. The STOPit app allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. STOPit can be downloaded to your smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ. Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous STOPit reports, and Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.
NOTE: The charges are merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.