Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw announced that a 31-year-old homeless man has pled guilty to sexual assaulting an elderly woman at knifepoint during the summer of 2020 in Willingboro Township.
Under an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office, Shawn Midgette must serve 12 years in state prison in exchange for pleading guilty to Aggravated Sexual Assault (First Degree).
Midgette, who at the time of his arrest in July 2020 was known to stay in the Willingboro area, also pled guilty to Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Third Degree) for threatening another woman with a knife in a separate incident. A five-year sentence for the weapons offense will run concurrently with the term for the assault.
The pleas were entered last week in Superior Court in Mount Holly before the Hon. Christopher J. Garrenger, J.S.C., who scheduled sentencing for October 27.
The investigation began July 24, 2020 after an elderly woman was sexually assaulted in her vehicle by a man who asked her for a ride as she exited a pharmacy in the 100 block of Springside Road in Westampton. 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.
The next day, Mount Holly police were contacted by a homeless woman who said she was threatened with a knife in Monroe Park. The victim was acquainted with Midgette, who was taken into custody two days later by Willingboro police at the McDonald’s restaurant on Beverly Rancocas Road.
Midgette is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Eife, supervisor of the BCPO Special Victims Section. The investigation was conducted by the Willingboro Township Police Department, the Mount Holly Township Police Department and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, with assistance from the Westampton Township Police Department.