A Rockaway Borough man accused of molesting two minors at a shopping mall was ruled incompetent to handle his own defense at trial.
The suspect is a 35-year-old resident of Rockaway Borough, New Jersey. According to Morris County NJ prosecutors, the suspect committed the sex crimes at the Rockaway Townsquare mall on August 28, 2015. He allegedly touched the genitals of two underage boys in mall restrooms. The victims in those alleged sexual assaults were 10 years old and five years old, respectively.
Additionally, the suspect allegedly tried to kidnap another young boy from a Rockaway NJ Target store on September 10, 2015. The victim in that case was just five years old. Authorities said that the suspect threatened to use a knife to cut the victim unless he left the store with the suspect.
One day after allegedly trying to abduct the victim from the Target, the suspect was placed under arrest by Rockaway police officers.
The suspect was subsequently charged with numerous crimes, including sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, luring, attempted kidnapping, terroristic threats, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
In September 2016, a Morris County grand jury indicted the suspect on the sex offense charges. The suspect then failed to reach a plea deal with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, so he is set to stand trial in Morris County Superior Court. However, a superior court judge recently ruled that the suspect is incompetent to participate in his own criminal defense. Additionally, the judge said that the suspect will need to be medicated for bipolar disorder in order to stand trial on the sexual offense charges.
The judge’s ruling came in response to a report issued by a psychiatrist who conducted a mental health evaluation of the suspect.
While the suspect awaits trial, he is being held at the Morris County Correctional Facility in Morristown NJ on a $600,000 bail amount.
For additional information about this case, access the NJ.com article, “Man Accused of Molesting 2 Boys, Attempted Kidnapping Reportedly Unfit for Trial.”