Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on June 28, 2023, Raymond Waters, 71, of Pawlet, Vermont, was found guilty of five counts of Aggravated Sexual Assault and thirteen counts of Sexual Assault. Following a three week-long jury trial before the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, P.J.Cr.P., the jury concluded beyond a reasonable doubt that between September 2002 and September 2004, Waters sexually assaulted a minor in Toms River Township, Barnegat Township, and Hillsborough Township (Somerset County). Waters was remanded to the Ocean County Jail pending sentencing, the date of which has yet to be determined.
In January 2014, the victim responded to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office to report that he had been sexually assaulted by Waters and Waters’ husband, Allen Harbatuk, 76, of Hillsborough, New Jersey, between September 2002 and September 2004. A subsequent investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and Toms River Township Police Department Detective Bureau revealed that the victim met Waters in 2002 when he was 14 years-old – while Waters was his art teacher at Toms River High School North. Further investigation revealed that Waters sexually assaulted the victim at Toms River High School North, the Joseph A. Citta Boy Scout Reservation in Barnegat Township, and Water’s then-residence in Hillsborough. Additionally, the investigation determined that Water’s husband, Harbatuk, sexually assaulted the victim at the Citta Boy Scout Reservation and the Hillsborough residence. On October 22, 2014, both Waters and Harbatuk were arrested at their residence in Hillsborough by Detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office and Hillsborough Township Police Department. They were transferred to the Ocean County Jail, and subsequently released on bail.
On June 21, 2018, Harbatuk was found guilty of Sexual Assault after a jury trial before the Honorable Therese Cunningham, J.S.C. On November 2, 2018, Judge Cunningham sentenced Harbatuk to seven years New Jersey State Prison.
Prosecutor Billhimer commends the diligence and dedication of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Kristin Pressman and Assistant Prosecutor Kaitlyn Burke who ably and skillfully tried the case on behalf of the State. The Prosecutor likewise extends his gratitude to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Toms River Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, and Hillsborough Township Police Department, for their combined and collective efforts in connection with this matter, ultimately resulting in this guilty verdict.