New Jersey man accused of sexually assaulting underage girl at church events

A New Jersey man is accused of sexually assaulting an underage girl at church events.

21-year-old Jeremy Hellyer attended the Gloucester County Community Church in Sewell, but it was at church functions that police now say he repeatedly sexually assaulted an underage girl for more than a year.

"It's troubling especially since we live a 100 yards from the church where that's going on. It's very disturbing," neighbor Chris Barbaro told FOX 29 Tuesday night.

"It's scary that something like that can happen in the world we're living in," Margarita Barbaro added.

Neighbors near the 1,000 member church on Chapel Heights Road were shocked to hear the news. Police say Hellyer, who lives in Wenonah, was charged with sexual assault and criminal sexual contact. According to police, he sexually assaulted the girl from April 2016 when she was just 13 to December of last year.

Investigators say the sexual assaults took place while Hellyer and the young girl were attending different church functions at the sprawling church during the 20-month period. Police say the assaults took place inside church buildings.

FOX 29 stopped at the church Tuesday evening, but there was no response from a church official we spoke with. Parents in the neighborhood across the street were troubled by the allegations. Their thoughts were with the teenage victim.

Hellyer is being held in the Salem County Jail pending a bail hearing. Police are asking anyone with further information to contact them.