By Shanna O’Mara
Jon Cannon, the man charged with criminal sexual contact at Rider following fondling incidents in the fall of 2015, was arrested at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) on Dec. 31, according to David Muha, associate vice president for communications, marketing and brand management at TCNJ.
TCNJ campus police charged Cannon, 25, with criminal sexual contact, burglary and trespassing after he allegedly entered the Cromwell Hall dormitory and touched a female student on Oct. 19.
“The college thanks the members of our police department who worked on this case,” Muha said. “They were meticulous in their review of evidence and worked closely with local law enforcement agencies to bring the charges that led to his arrest.”
Last fall, Cannon was arrested at Rider following similar events. He was charged in Oct. 2015 for trespassing into the West Village Apartments, touching two women.
At 3:15 a.m. on Sept. 11, Cannon allegedly entered an unlocked apartment in West Village B and touched a sleeping woman’s shoulder. The victim woke up, screamed and Cannon ran. During the early morning hours of Sept. 27, Cannon allegedly entered another unlocked room in West Village B and touched a sleeping woman’s breast. He also allegedly entered the Delta Phi Epsilon house but fled when police arrived.
Cannon was arraigned on Oct. 6 in Lawrence Township Municipal Court. His original bail of $130,000 was reduced to $25,000 by the time he posted on Oct. 13, according to Casey DeBlasio, spokeswoman from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.
He was admitted into Mercer County’s Pretrial Intervention Program for three years of supervision and submitted a sample of his DNA to investigators. It was then entered into a national database, and his identity matched evidence collected from an incident in a sorority house at the University of Wyoming.
That incident occurred in May 2016 when Cannon allegedly broke into the house through an open window. According to the King of Wyoming Broadcasting, a Wyoming radio station, a female student reported that the man masturbated in her room while she slept.
The University of Wyoming has increased safety measures since the incident, according to its school newspaper, The Branding Iron. Rider has taken similar steps to ensure the comfort and safety of students.
“We are aware of the recent arrest of Jon Cannon, and are grateful for the good work of law enforcement officials who investigated these incidents at other college campuses,” said Kristine Brown, university spokeswoman. “At Rider, the safety and security of our community is always paramount, and we want to remind everyone if you should ever see something unusual or concerning, call Public Safety immediately.”
According to Muha, “[TCNJ] Campus Police Services added patrols with an emphasis on the residence halls.”
Students were also asked to follow precautionary procedures including locking room doors before going to bed and after leaving their rooms, refraining from propping open residence hall doors and remove props when they see them, and refusing to allow strangers to “tailgate” into residence halls on their swipe access cards.