A Burlington County man has admitted to sexually assaulting a woman in a Burlington City alley in late 2019 in exchange for a 12-year sentence in New Jersey state prison, authorities said.
John Lewis, 29, of Browns Mills, entered a guilty plea to first-degree aggravated sexual assault on Jan. 27, according to Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina.
Under his plea agreement, Lewis must serve 85 percent of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole. He will be placed on the New Jersey sex offender registry upon release and also be subjected to parole supervision for life, Coffina said.
His plea was made before Superior Court Judge Philip E. Haines, who scheduled sentencing for April 14.
An investigation began after City of Burlington police officers were called to the first block of Union Street on Dec. 29, 2019, on a report of a woman screaming for help.
The victim told police that she was walking home from a friend’s house when she was approached by a stranger and sexually assaulted. She was punched and kicked in the face and head, causing facial fractures, tooth loss and a brain aneurism, police said. She was taken to Cooper University Hospital in Camden for treatment.
Police identified Lewis as the assailant through video surveillance from nearby businesses and residences. Lewis, who threatened to kill the victim, was arrested the day after the assault, police said. The victim’s credit card was found in his wallet when he was apprehended, they said.
Lewis was taken into custody in Burlington Township with assistance from the Burlington Township Police Department, the Burlington County Sheriff’s Department Warrant Unit, and the FBI Greater Trenton Safe Streets Task Force.
Assistant Prosecutor LaChia Bradshaw is handling the case. The lead investigator was City of Burlington Police Detective David Edwardson
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