CNB CRIME: Maurice Gooden Guilty of Sexual Assault and Robbery of Atlantic City Woman
Thursday, March 26, 2015
MAYS LANDING – An Atlantic City man was convicted this afternoon on all counts in connection with the 2002 sexual assault and robbery of a woman who had exited a jitney near her home after completing her work shift, Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain announced.
Today, March 25, 2015, after a three (3) day trial, an Atlantic County jury found Maurice Gooden, 39, of Atlantic City, guilty of:
Aggravated Sexual Assault during the commission of a robbery—a crime of the 1st degree,
Aggravated Sexual Assault of one whom he knew was physically helpless—a 1st degree crime,
Aggravated Assault—a 2nd degree crime, and
Robbery—a 2nd degree crime,
for his early-morning attack of an Atlantic City woman who had exited a jitney on April 25, 2002 at approximately 3:45 a.m.—an attack which left the victim unconscious in an alley off South Harrisburg Avenue, Atlantic City, sexually assaulted and robbed of her purse.
Atlantic City Police and emergency medical personnel responded to a 9-1-1 call from the victim’s home at 4:22 a.m., April 25, 2002. The victim was transported to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center—City Division, where she was treated for choking and blunt force injuries to the face and head, and for sexual assault. Police searched the area unsuccessfully for a man matching the description provided by the victim.
The victim reported to police that her attacker was on the jitney, followed her, and called to her, at which point she began running. The victim said she made it nearly halfway home before he caught her, covered her mouth, and dragged her into an alley, then repeatedly slammed her head into a wall, knocking her unconscious.
Maurice Gooden became a suspect at the beginning of the investigation, when a County Welfare identification card belonging to him was found near the scene by police.
Nearly 11 years later, a DNA match of the biological evidence left at the scene by the attacker in 2002, and a DNA sample taken from Maurice Gooden in March 2013, led to the four-count indictment by an Atlantic County Grand Jury on June 11, 2013, and a warrant on indictment for the arrest of Gooden, with bail set at $500,000 full cash.
During her closing argument before the jury today, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Pam D’Arcy, who represented the State in the case, said, “Thirteen long years have passed ...It’s time for the defendant to be held responsible for his action. The evidence compels it. You have the power to tell the defendant, ‘I know what you did ... all those years ago.’ Tell him you know he attacked her from behind, viciously beat and sexually assaulted her, and took her belongings. Tell him he is not going to get away with it.”
The Atlantic County jury deliberated less than two (2) hours before returning a guilty verdict on all charges to Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Bernard DeLury.
The 1st degree crimes each carry a potential penalty of 10-20 years of incarceration in New Jersey State prison. 2nd degree crimes carry a potential penalty of 5-10 years.