Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a 29-year-old Browns Mills man has pleaded guilty 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.
John Lewis entered the guilty plea to Aggravated Sexual Assault (First Degree) on January 27. Under an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office, 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.
The plea was entered before the Hon. Philip E. Haines, J.S.C., who scheduled sentencing for April 14.
The investigation began after City of Burlington police officers were called to the first block of Union Street in the early morning hours of December 29, 2019 on a report of a woman screaming for helping.
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. 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. The victim’s credit card was found in his wallet when he was apprehended.
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.
Lewis is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor LaChia Bradshaw.
The investigation was conducted by the City of Burlington Police Department, with assistance from the BCPO Major Crimes Unit and the BCPO High-Tech Crimes Unit. The lead investigator was City of Burlington Det. David Edwardson.