A Union County jury has returned guilty verdicts against two Plainfield men who sexually assaulted a severely mentally disabled woman a little more than four years ago before leaving her outside in a snowstorm, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Wednesday.
Edward Woodson, 34, and Marcal Campbell, 34, were convicted of first-degree aggravated sexual assault and first-degree aggravated sexual assault of a mentally disabled victim following a five-week trial before state Superior Court Judge Stuart Peim. Woodson was additionally convicted of a charge of first-degree kidnapping.
The date was January 31, 2011 when Woodson lured the victim from her home under the pretense of participating in Bible study and with the promise of returning her home safe, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutors Jessica Kahn and Estrella Lopez, who prosecuted the case. Instead, Woodson took the woman back to his home, where he and Campbell took turns sexually assaulting her in the basement during the course of more than an hour, Kahn and Lopez said.
During the early morning hours of the next day, the defendants kicked the victim out of the house with no cell phone, money, or any means to get home. She was discovered hours later, after which the victim was given medical attention and told authorities what had happened the night before. A joint investigation involving the Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Victims Unit and the Plainfield Police Division resulted in Woodson and Campbell being identified as suspects, and they were both arrested in February 2011.
Woodson is facing a sentence of 30 years in state prison, Campbell 20 years in state prison, with sentencing tentatively scheduled for March 13. Both men will be required to serve at least 85 percent of their respective terms before the possibility of parole under the terms of New Jersey’s No Early Release Act.