Animal rescue

Animal rescue center manager accused of being inappropriate with teenage volunteers

The manager of an animal rescue center in Freehold has been accused of being inappropriate with teenage volunteers at the facility.

Brian Becker is the executive director of the Garden State Animal Rescue Center, a facility located inside the Freehold Raceway Mall. He faces serious allegations, which the Monmouth County prosecutor says have been going on for the past year. The alleged victim is a teenage volunteer.

Acting Monmouth County District Attorney Lori Linskey said Becker “engaged in inappropriate touching on clothing.” He is also accused of having “provided alcohol to this victim” and “nicotine products to a second minor”.

Becker faces charges of third-degree aggravated criminal sexual interference and three third-degree counts of endangering the welfare of a child. He has already had his first court appearance and was released from Monmouth County Jail. But there are clauses. He is not allowed to have contact with the alleged victims and he cannot have contact with anyone under the age of 18.

The Garden State Animal Rescue Center occupies a space in the mall that was once a pet store, but gained attention after it was converted into a rescue center where the motto is “adopt, don’t buy.”

The mall’s website states that the center’s mission is to make New Jersey a place where every animal is treated with respect, kindness, and love.

As for Becker, his next court appearance is August 3.

News 12 contacted Becker for comment on the allegations, but did not hear back. No one from the facility responded to requests for comment.

The Garden State Animal Rescue Center was closed Monday, but people were seen working inside.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Becker was charged with felony aggravated sexual assault.