Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey said a Franklin Township man today admitted kidnapping a child to terrorize the child’s mother, and then attacking the woman, who was sexually assaulted and severely beaten in Highland Park.
Brandon Cox, 23, of the Somerset section of Franklin Township pleaded guilty to kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault in the attack of the woman on February 19, 2017 on Harper Avenue in Highland Park.
Under a plea agreement reached with Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Allysa Gambarella, the defendant will be sentenced to 23 years in a New Jersey state prison. He will be required to serve 85 percent of the term before he can be released on parole.
Mr. Cox also must register as a Megan’s Law sex offender and will undergo parole supervision for life. The sentence is expected to be imposed by Superior Court Judge Alberto Rivas at a hearing on October 16, 2017.
Detective Sean McGraw of the Highland Park Police Department and Detective Allie Bitterman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office charged Mr. Cox during an intensive investigation.
During the investigation it was determined that the mother was walking with the child when the defendant approached, displayed a handgun, forced the mother into the basement of a nearby apartment building, sexually assaulted her, and repeatedly punched her before fleeing.
Authorities were alerted when a resident of Harper Avenue called police after the victim ran to the neighbor’s home following the attack.