By: Najla Alexander
Authorities in Morris County announced that a jury had found Jessie Meneses, 37, formerly of Dover, guilty on all charges related to kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault that occurred on September 5, 2021, in Randolph, Victory Gardens, and Dover.Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll stated the jury returned a guilty verdict on February 2, following a six-day trial.
The defendant was found guilty of two counts of first-degree kidnapping, three counts of first-degree Aggravated Sexual Assault, three counts of second-degree Sexual Assault, three counts of third-degree Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact, three counts of fourth-degree Criminal Sexual Contact, one count of third-degree Terroristic Threats, one count of third-degree Conspiracy to Commit Witness Tampering and third-degree Witness Tampering, officials said.
Officials say a sentencing date has been scheduled for March 8, 2024, before the Honorable Stephen J. Taylor, P.J. Cr.
Authorities say the defendant will remain in custody until that time.
At sentencing, the Kidnapping, Aggravated Sexual Assault, and Sexual Assault convictions are subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA), which makes the defendant ineligible for parole until he has served 85% of the sentence imposed. Officials said the charges arose from an incident that occurred on September 5, 2021, in Randolph, wherein the defendant sexually assaulted his ex-girlfriend in his vehicle.
According to officials, he transported and confined her from Randolph, through Victory Gardens, and ultimately to Dover, where she was able to escape and report Meneses to the police.
Members of the Dover and Randolph Police Departments and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes & Child Endangerment Unit investigated the incident after being notified of the victim’s disclosure, officials stated.
Officials said that from April 1, 2022, through October 5, 2022, Meneses communicated with family members about contacting the victim to have her change her version of events or withdraw the criminal action.