Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II, announced today that James Pilotti, 43, of Union City, was sentenced to 40 years in New Jersey State Prison for kidnapping, aggravated assault, weapons charges and strangulation.
Yesterday, the Honorable Harold Fullilove, Jr., Judge of the Superior Court, who presided over Pilotti’s trial, imposed a 40-year sentence on the defendant.
Under the No Early Release Act (NERA), Pilotti must serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.
In March, an Essex County jury convicted Pilotti of nine counts, including first-degree 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 was 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 15 and 16 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 the home to a nearby neighbor for help.
Assistant Prosecutor Bollettieri, who handled the sentencing, said, “We hope this sentence will provide healing and some measure of closure to the victim. We also thank members of the Roseland Police Department for their hard work in the investigation of this case.’’
Before being sentenced in this case, the defendant had seven previous convictions dating back to 1996, including aggravated assault, weapons offenses, terroristic threats, resisting arrest, theft and criminal mischief.