A 36-year-old Monmouth County Man has been convicted of stalking his 14-year-old Union County tennis student for a period of 3 ½ years, according to the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.
Joseph Gellene of West Long Branch was hired in 2007 to coach the then 14-year-old boy, but was soon dismissed after reports that he was inappropriately contacting the student through a series of text messages and gifts such as a free massage.
After Gellene was let go and asked to cease contact with the student, he continued to call and send text messages to the boy – even began attending the same church as the victim and his family.
The criminal conduct in this particular case continued until 2011.
Gellene was also arrested in 2009 for similar actions – harassing a then 14-year-old Wall Township boy through a mass series of inappropriate text messages. He ended up pleaded guilty to a lesser municipal offense in that case, according to the Prosecutor’s Office.
His sentencing date is set for May 16 where Gellene could face up to 18 months in jail for fourth-degree stalking.