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Authorities: Homeless Man, 28, Sexually Assaulted South Jersey Women At Knifepoint

Shawn Midgette
Shawn Midgette Photo Credit: Burlington County Prosecutor's Office

A 28-year-old homeless man known to stay in the Willingboro area was arrested Monday for sexually assaulting two women at knifepoint in Burlington County, authorities said.

Shawn Midgette was taken into custody at about 4 p.m. by Willingboro police at the McDonald’s restaurant on Beverly Rancocas Road, Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina, Mount Holly Township Police Chief Richard Spitler and Willingboro Township Public Safety Director Kinamo Lomon said in a joint statement. 

The knife believed to be used while threatening to harm the women if they resisted was found on Midgette during his arrest, they said.

An investigation began on Friday after an elderly woman was sexually assaulted in her vehicle by a man who asked for a ride as she exited a pharmacy in the 100 block of Springside Road in Westampton, they said.

The assailant forced her to drive to the Garfield East section of Willingboro, where he assaulted her and took cash from her purse before fleeing on foot, they said.

Midgette was immediately identified as a suspect, and patrol units in Willingboro, Mount Holly and Westampton began an active search for him, they said.

An alert was issued to law enforcement agencies in Burlington and neighboring counties, and investigators began checking area homeless shelters to determine where he had been staying, they said.

On Saturday, Mount Holly police were contacted by a homeless woman who said she was threatened with a knife and sexually assaulted in Monroe Park at about 10:30 p.m. they said. The victim said she knows Midgette.

Midgette was charged Monday night with aggravated sexual assault, robbery, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and certain persons not to possess firearms, they said.

Midgette was being held at the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly pending a detention hearing. The case will be presented to a Burlington County Grand Jury for possible indictment, they said.

Midgette will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Eife, supervisor of the BCPO Major Crimes Unit – Special Victims Section.

The investigation was conducted by Willingboro police, Mount Holly police and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, with assistance from Westampton police. Lead investigators are Willingboro Detective Elijah Hart, Mount Holly Detective Nicholas Dell-Priscoli and BCPO Detective Tony Luyber.

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