Manalapan Man Convicted in Sex Assault on Girl, 12

Co-defendant, a Lakewood woman, was convicted in March

Dennis Conover (Photo: Ocean County Jail)
Dennis Conover (Photo: Ocean County Jail)
An Ocean County jury found a Manalapan man guilty of multiple sex charges on Wednesday in a sex assault involving a 12-year-old victim.

Dennis Conover, now 34 years old, was arrested on March 2, 2012, for an incident that occurred in Lakewood during the summer of 2010, said Al Della Fave, spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office. The victim, who was 12 at the time, is now 16 and testified at the trial that to multiple acts between herself and Conover, as well as a co-defendant, Mary Ellen Deane, 29, of Lakewood.

Dean was convicted in March of five counts of first degree aggravated sexual assault, three counts of second degree sexual assault, and five counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

The sexual acts occurred in Lakewood and Jackson, according to court records. Conover, Della Fave said, admitted to one sex act in a statement that was played before the jury.

Trial testimony began on May 8 in front of Superior Court Judge James M. Blaney and concluded Tuesday. The conviction on one count of first degree aggravated sexual assault, one count of second degree sexual assault, and one count of third degree endangering the welfare of a child came Wednesday at 9:45 a.m.

Conover and Deane are both incarcerated in the Ocean County Jail. Their sentencings are pending an Avenel Sex Offenders evaluation.

Ocean County Prosecutor Detectives Anthony Paciulli, John Caroll, and John Murphy handled the case investigation. Victim Witness Advocate Debra Giordano assisted the victim throughout the process. The case was successfully prosecuted by Senior Assistant Prosecutor Terry Ann Linardakis.


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