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South Plainfield Man In Domestic Call Charged With Rape Of Underage Victim In Lodi 9 Years Ago

Joseph Maina

What began with a domestic dispute call in South Plainfield ended in charges against a 45-year-old engineer of sexually assaulting a pre-teen in Lodi nearly a decade ago, authorities said.

Joseph Eustace Maina remained held Thursday in the Bergen County Jail pending a detention hearing this coming Monday in Hackensack, records show.

South Plainfield police went to Maina’s Christopher Avenue home on Sunday in response to a report of a domestic dispute, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said.

They contacted Lodi police and members of Musella’s Special Victims Unit after “it was alleged that [he] engaged in sexual relations with a child who was under the age of 13 while in Lodi,” the prosecutor said.

An investigation “revealed that the sexual acts occurred over a period of several years while Maina resided in Lodi,” Musella said.

Records put the alleged incidents in or around the year 2012.

The Kenya-born Maina was arrested at his home Tuesday and brought to Musella’s office, where he was interviewed and charged with first-degree aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and child endangerment before being sent to the county lockup, the prosecutor said.

Musella thanked Lodi and South Plainfield police for their work in the case.

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