A 29-year-old man from South Jersey has been sentenced to 12 years in New Jersey state prison for sexually assaulting a woman in a Burlington City alley, authorities said.
John T. Lewis of Browns Mills, who pleaded guilty in February to first-degree aggravated sexual assault, must serve 85 percent of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole, according to Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina.
The term, which was negotiated by the Prosecutor’s Office, was handed down on Wednesday in Superior Court in Mount Holly by Judge Philip E. Haines.
As part of the sentence, Lewis will be placed on the New Jersey sex offender registry upon release and also be subjected to parole supervision for life, Coffina said.
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, Coffina 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, Coffina said. The victim’s credit card was found in his wallet when he was apprehended, the prosecutor said.
“There is no place in society for predators who wait in the shadows to attack their unsuspecting victims,” Coffina said. “This sentiment is reinforced by the tremendous cooperation that law enforcement received from the public while investigating this case.”
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.
He was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor LaChia Bradshaw.
The lead investigator was City of Burlington Det. David Edwardson.
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