Newark Man Gets Prison Time for Kidnapping and Sexual Assault of Rutgers University Student
A Newark, NJ man who pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated sexual assault has now been sentenced to 22 years behind bars in NJ state prison. The defendant in the sex offense case was Michael Knight, a 40-year-old resident of Newark in Essex County, NJ. He was accused of savagely beating a female student on the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University in May 2016 and then attempting to rape her. According to Middlesex County authorities, Knight followed the victim on the Rutgers campus at 3:30 a.m. on May 4, 2016 and then violently attacked her near the intersection of College Avenue and Seminary Place. Knight reportedly struck her in the head, dragged her to the side of a nearby building, and tried to sexually assault her. The sexual assault was interrupted by a group of people who subsequently chased Knight away from the scene. While Knight was fleeing, he reportedly shouted that he had a handgun and would use it.
Afterwards, New Brunswick police detectives investigated the assault and identified Knight as the suspect. Law enforcement then released a mugshot of Knight to the public, prompting him to turn himself in to police.
Severe Penalties for Newark Man Who Admitted to Aggravated Sexual Assault
Knight was originally charged with several crimes, including kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, and endangering an injured victim. Knight ultimately avoided trial in the case by reaching a plea agreement with Middlesex County prosecutors in December 2017. Knight pleaded guilty to the charges of kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault; in exchange, prosecutors agreed to drop the remaining felony charges.
Now Knight has been sentenced. He recently made an appearance in the Middlesex County Superior Court for his sentencing hearing, with the judge approving the plea deal and sentencing Knight to 22 years in New Jersey state prison. Since aggravated sexual assault is one of the enumerated offenses in the No Early Release Act (NERA), Knight will have to serve a minimum of 85 percent of his prison term before he becomes eligible for parole. Moreover, once Knight completes his prison term and is released, he will have to register as a convicted sex offender under Megan’s Law.
Free Consultation with an Experienced Sexual Assault Lawyer in Newark, NJ
If you have been charged with aggravated sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, or any other sex offense in Newark, New Jersey, you should talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately. Newark criminal attorney Travis Tormey is prepared to help you fight your sex crime charges and avoid the most severe penalties. Contact him now for a free consultation.