Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II, announced today that an Essex County jury has convicted James Pilotti, 43, of Union City, of kidnapping, aggravated assault, weapons charges and strangulation.
Following a trial before the Honorable Harold Fullilove, Jr,. Judge of the Superior Court, the jury convicted Pilotti of kidnapping, aggravated assault, three counts of unlawful possession of a weapon, three counts of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and aggravated assault by strangulation on a domestic violence victim.
The jury remained deadlocked on the charge of attempted murder.
The case was tried by Assistant Prosecutors Renee Shafran and Julianne Bollettieri. According to the assistant prosecutors who handled the case, on August 15, 2019 through the next morning of August 16, 2019 Pilotti kidnapped the victim, whom he had a prior sexual relationship with, at the victim’s home in Roseland.
Pilotti had been released from jail four days prior, after serving a sentence for breaking into that same victim’s home in 2018.
Throughout the night and early morning of August 15th and 16th Pilotti bound the victim with cords and duct tape and proceeded to beat him with not only his fists but also a lamp and a brick.
Pilotti strangled the victim until he passed out. The torture and beating continued for approximately six hours until Pilotti forced the victim to take sleeping pills with alcohol.
The victim was ultimately able to break free and flee to the home of a nearby neighbor.
“We are pleased the jury returned a just verdict in this case. Hopefully, the resolution of this case will provide the victim with a sense of safety and justice,” said Assistant Prosecutor Shafran.
Pilotti was still on probation for the burglary at the victim’s home at the time he committed this offense.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 27. Pilotti faces a life sentence in New Jersey State Prison.