A local man who broke into a stranger’s home and violently sexually assaulted her in 2018 has been sentenced to 18 years in state prison for the crime, acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo and Rahway Police Chief John Rodger jointly announced Thursday. Jermaine Ramirez, 25, of Rahway must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence before the possibility of parole, according to the terms set down Friday by Union County Superior Court Judge Regina Caulfield.
The sentencing brings to a close an incident that began shortly before 5 a.m. on Friday, June 29, 2018, when Rahway Police Department patrol units responded to a home on the 100 block of East Hazelwood Avenue to find the then 67-year-old victim suffering from multiple injuries, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutors Jessica Kahn and Bryan Tiscia, who prosecuted the case. At the scene, the victim told investigators that she had been sleeping and awoke to find an unknown male grabbing her, pinning her down, and sexually assaulting her.
The case was investigated by the Special Victims Unit of the Prosecutor’s Office, together with the Union County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit, and the Rahway Police Department. Evidence uncovered during the investigation, including that DNA taken from the victim’s person matched the defendant, established Ramirez as a suspect in the case. He was arrested in Rahway on Tuesday, July 3, 2018.
The Prosecutor’s Office tried the case in November 2019, and a jury ultimately convicted Ramirez of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, second-degree sexual assault, second-degree burglary, and third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact. That verdict led to this 18-year sentence.
Ramirez is also awaiting sentencing on an unrelated burglary case from Essex County.