Marlboro Camp Counselor Pleads Guilty To Sexting With 4 Teen Campers

Civil suit alleges that Marlboro Recreation Department failed to supervise, protect children and attempted to cover up sexting incidents

Matthew Kleinstein

Matthew Kleinstein

Matthew Kleinstein, 20, of Marlboro Township, pleaded guilty to fourth degree Cyber Harassment on August 17, 2015 in Monmouth County Court.   Kleinstein had also been charged with 3rd degree Endangering the Welfare of a Minor after he sent pictures of his genitals to four female campers, ages 11-13, via text message and SnapChat, during his employment as a Camp Counselor with the Marlboro Department of Recreation at Marlboro High School during the summer of 2014.

Kleinstein has applied for Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI).  He is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Ronald Lee Reisner on October 9th at 9 a.m, according to Charles Webster, spokesman for the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.  If accepted into the PTI program, Kleinstein will avoid serving jail time and have his criminal record expunged upon successfully completing the program.

A civil lawsuit filed by one of the victims and her guardian on September 18, 2015 alleges that Kleinstein’s father, Darrin Kleinstein, Vice Chairman of the Marlboro Recreation Advisory Committee, obstructed the investigation into his son’s actions by the Marlboro Recreation Department and the Marlboro Police Department.  The suit alleges that the elder Kleinstein contended that the allegations were false and manufactured with the intent of harassing his son.

The lawsuit, which names Marlboro Township, the Marlboro Township Recreation Department, both Kleinsteins and Recreation Department employees Ted Ernst, Michelle Gropper, Lyne Gustman and Suzi Leifer as defendants, complains that the younger Kleinstein was allowed to continue working as a camp counselor for the entire 2014 season, even after Recreation Department managers became aware of the sexting incidents, which occurred during the first week of the season, according to both the prosecutor and the lawsuit.  Matthew Kleinstein was transferred to working with 2nd and 3rd grade campers, instead of young teens, according to the lawsuit.

MARLBORO REPUBLICANS PROPOSE REFORMS TO PROTECT CHILDREN–Related Article

The suit alleges that Matthew Kleinstein attempted to induce the 11-13 year old girls in his care into returning sexually explicit photos of themselves to him, both during camp time and after hours.  Webster said the Prosecutor’s Office has no evidence that the girls were ever photographed in a sexually explicit manner.

The lawsuit alleges that that the 13 year old plaintiff identified as I.D. to protect her privacy, has had her childhood cut short by the incidents.  She has felt distressed, isolated, stigmatized and harassed.  She is frightened to appear in public and is unwilling to participate in outside school activities, according to the suit which was filed by Steven P. Lombardi, Esq.

Robert Honecker, Esq. of Ansell, Grimm and Aaron in Ocean Township, is Matthew Kleinstein’s criminal defense attorney. Hornecker said, “Unfortunately, this type of activity that Matthew pleaded guilty to is prevalent on both sides.  He’s admitted to his wrong doing and offered his apologies in Court.  Matthew has applied for PTI and our hope is that this mistake will not follow him for the rest of his life.”

Matthew Kleinstein was an All Star baseball player at Colts Neck High School, from where he graduated in 2013.  He went to play baseball for West Virginia University and Felician College in Rutherford, NJ.

Marlboro Mayor Jonathan Hornik said that the Township has not yet been served with the lawsuit.  He declined to comment because it is a personnel matter and because it is now a matter in litigation.

Posted: October 1st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Jon Hornik, Marlboro, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Court, Monmouth County News, Monmouth County Prosecutor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments »

40 Comments on “Marlboro Camp Counselor Pleads Guilty To Sexting With 4 Teen Campers”

  1. lots of questions said at 7:30 pm on October 1st, 2015:

    clearly kid did something wrong, he pled guilty

    why was he allowed to still be a counselor?

    was this his first year as a counselor?

    why didn’t the other rec committee people step in and say your fired?

    wasnt the dad a hornik appointee, why didnt the mayor force the dad out for conflict of interest and fire the kid?

    why was this kept a secret for so long?

    what else don’t we know, why the cover up?

    This is horrible and scary for so many of us with young children

    how do they screen counselors?

  2. Another example of said at 7:57 pm on October 1st, 2015:

    Do as I say not as I do. The entire Recreation committee was hand picked by Mayor Hornik and his puppet council members. What does that say about the Mayor’s character? His sense to make a decision? How many of our kids in Marlboro have to be subjected to this because of one man’s desire to stay in office? The fact that the mayor is silent on this issue should tell the people of Marlboro of something. I understand the legal ramifications and not wanting to say something that is in the criminal court, but come on, a skilled lawyer like Hornik can’t think of something to say condemning the Rec’s actions? This is on Mayor Hornik’s hands! How can we trust him to protect our town while he can’t even protect our children?!

  3. Is there said at 8:42 pm on October 1st, 2015:

    something more in the water, there?? We know they had/ have a disproportionate number of Superfund toxic sites, going back decades, and it is just weird that so many bad people seem to turn up being from there, over the years. In this instance, wherever kids are involved, it looks like more stringent checks and oversight need to be put into place, pronto, everywhere.

  4. Bob Lehrer said at 9:05 pm on October 1st, 2015:

    Why has this been covered up for so long?!? My children along with most children of the township have attended this camp!!! His father has been pulling shady strings ever since his involvement with the Marlboro Little League!! He should be denied the pti, why should he get a slap on the wrist?!?

  5. jason said at 9:48 am on October 2nd, 2015:

    no one knows the real story of who did what……….

  6. HE PLEAD GUILTY said at 12:30 pm on October 2nd, 2015:

    WE ALL KNOW HE PLED GUILTY!

  7. MLL parent said at 3:07 pm on October 2nd, 2015:

    The whole family is a bit messed up. The dad was convicted in a case involving the carpenters union in NYC years ago. He is then asked to leave (forced out) the MLL travel program because of shady activities and he is then appointed to the Rec board giving out field assignments to the league who asked him to leave.
    Something’s rotten in the town of Marlboro

  8. horrified citizen said at 7:48 pm on October 2nd, 2015:

    I sent my children to this camp. We never received notice that this was going on.

    Shame on the township and recreation officials for not firing this man immediately.

    My faith in the township and recreation department is wrecked

    God help these poor girls

  9. Ask Councilman Scalea for answers said at 7:50 pm on October 2nd, 2015:

    Councilman Scalea was on the Rec board when this happened.

    What did he do to protect these young girls,
    he protected his fellow board member’s son and baseball coach buddy by letting the kid continue to be a counselor and possibly harm event more kids

    I tell you what I wouldn’t vote for him again

    Wrong team, wrong direction
    You are doing wrong if you can’t protect the kids

  10. Bob English said at 12:18 am on October 3rd, 2015:

    What did his attorney mean when he said “Unfortunately, this type of activity that Matthew pleaded guilty to is prevalent on both sides”………….both sides?????

  11. Pepe Garcia said at 12:52 am on October 3rd, 2015:

    Let him off, he’s a good kid! Everyone makes mistakes! Plus you all don’t know the whole story.

  12. Mr. Simon said at 1:05 am on October 3rd, 2015:

    This information is disturbing but I know Matthew and he deserves a second chance. The kid is amazing at baseball and respects everyone. We all make mistakes in life. For those bashing on him take a chill pill, he learned his lesson and won’t ever do it again. He’s a good kid!

  13. johnny said at 7:42 am on October 3rd, 2015:

    No one knows the whole story comments on here seem very political also. This seems like someone looking for a fast dollar against a town. Everyone is assuming things against Mathew what about the other kid what did they do?? I wouldn’t be so fast to judge until you know the entire story besides since when is everything we read always true or factual. I am sure this is a one sided comment as his attorney said both sides.

  14. Township Mom said at 8:47 am on October 3rd, 2015:

    As a mom of a girl who was at the camp and knowing who the girl is and the girls family all I can say is stop judging. If all of you knew the things this girl did and is allowed to do you might be asking where the hell are the parents and why are they not being charged with something. Children should not be going to drinking parties being un supervised. Should not be dressing the way they allow and doing things that girls her age are doing. This is a terrible thing on all sides but stop commenting unless you really know what’s going on. The father just wants a fast buck at the expense of the town. If he actually knew half the the things the mother let’s his daughter do he would totally loose it. Mistakes were made on all sides. When his lawyers said both sides think for a few seconds. This girl is the furthest thing from an angel and the mom thinks it’s is ok. Maybe she is watching the Kardashians too much.

  15. Bob English said at 9:24 am on October 3rd, 2015:

    The “blame the victim” mentality by some is sickening especially when as the article notes the children involved are between 11 and 13 years old.

  16. have we all lost our marbles said at 9:34 am on October 3rd, 2015:

    In no world is it ok for a 20 year old man to sext with 11-13 year old girls no matter what the girl did.

    to say you don’t know the girl, or there are 2 sides to the story is incredible. he didn’t do it once, and he did it with more than one girl and HE IS PLEADING GUILTY

    in any other world but marlboro he would be considered a pedophile

    stop excusing and start supporting

    no wonder sexual assault and rapes are under reported

    there is nothing these girls could have done that would justify a man sending them a picture of his genitals

  17. jackie said at 9:54 am on October 3rd, 2015:

    No one should judge or point fingers without knowing the entire story

    For some reason I feel there is more to this than the article is saying. People on both sides made mistakes.

    Move on

    Who are we to sit here and judge. People in glass houses should not throw stones.

  18. anonymous said at 11:15 am on October 3rd, 2015:

    everyone obviously have no idea what they are talking about. Yes, I’m one of those girls. The comment “township mom” posted about one of the girls involved is so disturbing i loose brain cells just reading it. You are not the mother. You are not involved. You do you boo and stop judging. If it was not illegal for what he did than he would not be convicted. The girl you speak of is 13 and is a minor. The way she dresses and acts should not be judged as a target. Maybe your watching a little too much of the Kardashians

  19. Mistake said at 1:59 pm on October 3rd, 2015:

    If the young man made a mistake as you say he did then the ADULTS involved at the rec department and rec commission including councilman Scalea made a bigger mistake by letting him stay as a camp counselor

  20. Sick of this town said at 5:19 pm on October 3rd, 2015:

    Are all of you crazy. There is no two side. The man pleaded guilty. Yes thats bad, and I honestly hope he gets another chance. The issue here is that people knew; he was not fired, and went on to take care of younger children. This is crazy. Get the kid out, get him counseling and move on. To keep him there with young children??? Thats the issue. Whoever was involved needs to be removed from any position dealing with children or representing this town. This has taken nepotism way too far.

  21. Gets scarier, said at 7:09 pm on October 3rd, 2015:

    in terms of the appearance of different sets of rules for different people: who one is, of who one is related to, seem to carry far too much weight,when something goes awry: every level of government, and both parties appear to be guilty of this m. o. -Only when taxpayers closely follow what is going on and make noise, when it appears rules are bent in a harmful way for some people, and the right thing either takes longer or isn’t done at all, will the light of day possibly create some fair/ meaningful change.

  22. Not on my time said at 8:35 pm on October 4th, 2015:

    If this happened to my daughter, I would be the one going to jail!!

  23. A Concerned Mother said at 8:52 am on October 7th, 2015:

    It appears some individuals believe they are above the law. Because someone is an athlete does not exempt them from responsibility. Felician is a Cathlolic School and he is an active member of the baseball team. How is it that Rutgers Students who commit crimes are expelled from school and he is not. Are little girls not that important. Very sad.

  24. A parent said at 1:53 pm on October 7th, 2015:

    I wish that you all would get your facts straight! Do NOT believe everything you read. No pictures were ever found it is heresay!

  25. Fred Fien said at 2:48 pm on October 7th, 2015:

    Concerned Mom… I asked the same question of Felician president and board members and no one has replied. The college is surrounded by schools with younger children.. are they safe with someone like this? Why is he allowed to be part of any function with the school. He plead guilty!

    The picture of him in this very posting is the baseball roster pic with the logo removed. What an embarrassment to the college and a threat to other children near by. For shame to the people who post that “we don’t know the entire story”… then why would he plead guilty? What reason would one find “OK” for him to do this to minor age girls or in fact any person? I pray that he and his family use this to get him help once he fulfills his sentencing. He should enter into a program that will help him. If this is true about a cover up and others turned a blind eye… God help them!

  26. Troubled Youth said at 3:46 pm on October 7th, 2015:

    “A Parent” Really… here is the entire story from the Asbury Park Press..

    http://www.app.com/story/news/crime/jersey-mayhem/2015/10/07/marlboro-counselor-sexting-children/73514216/

  27. The township failed said at 4:09 pm on October 7th, 2015:

    What really strikes me is how “other” adults would not stand up to protect these girls. It doesn’t matter how they acted or dressed… nobody will tolerate that crap from the past blaming the victim. He knew better and if he didn’t there is an obvious mental defect that needs addressing. What a travesty that no other adults cared to protect the kids. Funny how people attack the church and clergy because of acts against children… yet many of the same folks who are in charge of children and claim to care allow this to happen.worse covered up

  28. Callin you out Jackie said at 4:33 pm on October 7th, 2015:

    Jackie, I can tell you are a family member or a close friend, but when it comes to children and bringing harm to them… there are no second chances. The law must be followed and the criminal act followed by punishment and therapy.

    I really hope that if you are a parent that you never face seeing a child abused in any manner. I see this all the time and I will tell you that many of these kids never get over it. For the the abuser… they are always sorry and will never do this again. Look at the real facts… most will do it again and tend to be at a greater scale then the original abuse because it gets easier as the guilt is masked.

  29. Marlboro camp counselor who admitted to cyber harrassing campers to be sentenced | New Jersey news said at 5:17 pm on October 8th, 2015:

    […] local news website, MoreMonmouthMusings.net, reported that the lawsuit accuses Darrin Kleinstein, vice chairman of the Marlboro Recreation […]

  30. Olga said at 12:55 am on October 9th, 2015:

    I know the whole story. It’s been covered up and Mat’s parents wanted it to go away. Parents of the girls don’t want the girls to go through court pricess. If you have kids you would understand. But because he plead guilty, he as an adult knew exactly what he did. There is no mistake about it. Parents of the girls can’t do much. This is a Monmouth county court and it seems like klinestein family got it all covered. This man has to be registered on sex offenders list.his parents never called anyone and never took responsibility for his actions. They show no remorse for what he did. He is not sorry. He will not be punished as what he deserves. I would not send him in jail, but he needs to be watched by a community. I hope they move, so he is no longer a threat to other girls in Marlboro. This incident shows you how people with money can pay off and get minimal penalty for such crime. I hope newspapers, media and others will pick it up.

  31. susan said at 10:06 am on October 9th, 2015:

    this is addressed to Bob Lehrer…why does something tell me that you would be singing a totally different tune if it was your child..then they would be entitled to a second chance???

  32. Coach said at 10:17 am on October 9th, 2015:

    Susan… this kid has an issue with showing things off to little girls…. what would you call it? Is it OK? Should we blame the young girls? What person in this world would ever think that any part of this is OK?

    This guy needs to pay for his crime, get help, and pray that his victims can find peace and try to get back to a normal life if possible. It appears so many tried to cover this up for what… so he can do it again? Should we blame everyone else for this?

  33. susan said at 10:31 am on October 9th, 2015:

    Olga…you don’t now what you are talking about..you don’t know the whole story at all..first y’all are talking about a man…when this incident took place he was 18, not a minor but certainly no man..there were no pictures either taken or sent (a proven fact) what he did plead guilty to was sending a text that was not appropriate for a young girl..there was no cover up done just legal bureaucracy that took so long..there is no reason to be put on sex offenders list, since he did nothing to warrant that…Olga, please get your information right before you go on a website and besmearch someone name. three quarters of what you wrote is heresay and pure garbage. do you know Matthew? how can you make a statement like he’s not sorry or his parents aren’t sorry..its not something any parent wants to go through themselves or watch their child go through either…not saying what happened was right, but cut the kid some slack…he’s owning up to his mistake and doing what has to be done to make it better.

  34. susan said at 10:50 am on October 9th, 2015:

    hey coach…quick question for ya..were you there and a witness to this kid showing things off to little girls or are you just one of those fools who like to jump on the bandwagon. I never said anything about anything being OK, but he didn’t kill anyone..a mistake was made..he owned up to it…now move on to the other crap going on in the world

  35. Susan really... said at 10:50 am on October 9th, 2015:

    Susan… you should be ashamed at yourself for writing this nonsense. There is no hearsay as he confessed. If 18 is not a man… why do we send them off to fight for this country? If you are correct and all this info is wrong…why didn’t they suspend him until this was cleared by the local police? Something smells here for sure and I am it will all come out.

  36. Bob Lehrer said at 11:51 am on October 9th, 2015:

    @ Susan. Who are you? Are you a mom?! Of girls?? If this was done to your girls, you would want this Man to be given a slap on the wrist?!?! Talk about singing a different tune!! Fact: he did something wrong.
    Fact: his father & others tried to cover it up
    Fact: he pled guilty
    Fact: he should be punished & not given a slap on the wrist
    Fact: raise kids the right way & this isn’t a discussion

  37. Bob... you are right on said at 12:23 pm on October 9th, 2015:

    Remember a few years back everybody loved Jerry “the tickle monster” Sundusky. He was a great guy also….

  38. A concerned Mom said at 12:50 pm on October 13th, 2015:

    Susan, your defense of him is shocking. Everyone deserves a presumption of innocence, but he has pled guilty. We all know that the pictures were erased out of embarrassment by these girls. His presumption of innocence is now gone because HE PLED GUILTY. He was represented by a criminal defense attorney who recommended he take a plea. If he wanted to clear his name he should have gone to trial. If there was no evidence that would not have been a risk. The GUILTY plea is the record that stands everything else is heresay. He is a convicted sex offender who should be thrown out of school and should not be allowed anywhere near children.

  39. Steven R. said at 7:34 am on October 14th, 2015:

    As of today Felician College which is a private Catholic College has not taken any action against him. He is still a member of the Baseball team. How can they let someone who has pled guilty to a crime of this nature represent their school. This is a sad commentary that the Catholic School has not come to terms with protecting children from sexual predators, an age old problem in the Catholic church.

  40. Per Steven's comment said at 4:59 pm on October 14th, 2015:

    Steven you hit the nail right on the head! This might be a null issue as I believe that his days are numbered and should be gone by the end of the week. The school is faced with a real issue if he stays. In good conscience they should contact the surrounding elementary and middle schools. This would even bring more bad press to the college.

    I am confident that they are reviewing the entire matter and will make the right choice. Let this kid go and hopefully he will get help, clean up his act, and make a positive commitment to the community.