Elizabeth Man Charged in Alleged Kidnapping, Attempted Sexual Assault

A local man accused of attacking and trying to sexually assault a woman in Elizabeth nearly three months ago has been arrested and charged, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Friday.

Wukeem Lewis, 54, is charged with first-degree kidnapping, second-degree attempted aggravated sexual assault, and second-degree attempted sexual assault.

The date was Sept. 15 when Lewis allegedly attacked the victim as she was walking home at approximately 6 a.m., according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Melissa Spagnoli, who is prosecuting the case. Lewis subsequently dragged the woman to an abandoned building, restrained her, and attempted to sexually assault her before a pair of concerned citizens intervened, prompting him to flee the scene, Spagnoli said.

Lewis was arrested by Elizabeth Police Department detectives at his home on Jefferson Avenue in Elizabeth last week, and his bail was set at $300,000 by state Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Walsh. If convicted, Lewis could face mandatory sentences of 15 to 30 years on the kidnapping charge and 10 to 20 years on each of the attempted sexual assault charges, with 85 percent of the overall sentence required to be served before the possibility of parole.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.