Veteran officer accused of sex assaults of youth athletes

ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) — A veteran police officer and youth football coach in New Jersey has been charged with sexually assaulting two players.

East Orange Police Sgt. Edward Giles, a 30-year veteran of the force, was arrested Friday and faces 16 counts, including aggravated sexual assault.

The 59-year-old Giles is a community resource officer and has served as youth football director of the East Orange Police Athletic League for many years.

Union County prosecutors allege he assaulted two players under the age of 13 on multiple occasions between 1998 and 2003, sometimes at his home in Roselle.

Giles is being held at the Union County Jail and faces a detention hearing Thursday.

An attorney representing Giles calls the charges "meritless" and said allegations had arisen previously but hadn't been deemed sufficient for criminal charges.