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Paterson Man Convicted Of Kidnapping, Sexually Abusing Woman In Empty House

Juan Cruz-Pena
Juan Cruz-Pena Photo Credit: COURTESY: Passaic County Prosecutor's Office

PATERSON, N.J. -- Jurors in Paterson convicted a city man of kidnapping and repeatedly sexually assaulting a woman in an abandoned house with help from another man.

Juan Cruz-Pena, 31, was found guilty Thursday of kidnapping, aggravated criminal sexual contact and aggravated assault.

Cruz-Pena kept the 35-year-old city woman confined on the porch of the abandoned Van Houten Avenue home for hours on May 22, 2014, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes said Friday.

His co-defendant, Daniel Ortiz, 33, of Passaic, will be tried at a later date, Valdes said.

A judge set sentencing for Cruz-Pena for Nov. 4. He will have to serve 85% of his sentence before being eligible for parole, under New Jersey’s No Early Release Act, the prosecutor said.

Cruz-Pena will also have to register as a Megan’s Law offender and submit to parole supervision for life.

Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer L. Kim handled the case for the state before Superior Court Judge Adam E. Jacobs.

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