Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a 37-year-old Riverside man was sentenced today to 15 years in New Jersey state prison for sexually assaulting three juveniles over multiple years.
Christopher Elder pled guilty in February to Aggravated Sexual Assault (First Degree) and Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Second Degree). Under terms of the plea agreement negotiated by the Prosecutor’s Office, Elder must serve the entire sentence and will not be eligible for parole.
Upon release, he will be placed on the New Jersey sex offender registry and also be subjected to parole supervision for life.
The investigation began last year after disclosures about the assaults were made by one of the victims to a family member. Elder was taken into custody in September and lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly. Additional details about the case are being withheld to protect the identity of the victims.
“The impact on the children is unknown at this time,” said the Hon. Philip E. Haines, J.S.C., who handed down the sentence in Superior Court. “We don’t know what the full impact will be, and probably won’t know for a number of years. Life is tough enough in an ideal situation, let alone having to go through this.”
Prosecutor Coffina praised the victims for the courage they showed during the investigation.
“Our hope is that their actions will empower them to heal from their horrible experiences,” he said. “We are gratified that this plea agreement and sentence will spare the victims the pain of reliving the trauma during a trial.”
Elder was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Eife, supervisor of the BCPO Special Victims Unit. The case was investigated by the BCPO Special Victims Unit and the Burlington Township Police Department, with assistance from the Riverside Township Police Department and the Edgewater Park Township Police Department.