A North Bergen man was sentenced to 15 years today for the rape and brutal beating of a woman in a crime that was cracked when a co-worker saw the rapist’s photo in The Jersey Journal.
Jesse Girard, 35, of 43rd Street, must serve nearly 13 years of his sentence for the Feb. 29, 2016 rape committed after he broke into the woman’s home in Downtown Jersey City.
The 5-foot-2, 110-pound victim, who was 24 at the time, spent four days at the Jersey City Medical Center recovering the attack that Superior Court Judge John Young acknowledged left her with injuries from “her head to her toes.”
When police responded at 3:20 a.m. on the report of a woman screaming for help, the victim gave them a description of the attacker, who was wearing black gloves.
Officers canvassed the area and recovered surveillance video in which they located a “person of interest.” The Jersey Journal was provided with the images and posted them in the newspaper and NJ.com/Hudson. An official said today that one of Gerard’s co-workers saw the images and called investigators.
The surveillance video shows Girard trying to open doors of several apartment buildings and residences in the Hamilton Park area where the victim lived at the time. Footage shows him entering the victim’s apartment building through the front door, although it’s unclear how he opened the door.
Help wanted in identifying person of interest in Jersey City sex assault
Girard is later seen leaving the victim’s building before she runs into the street screaming.
Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Najma Rana complimented Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit Sgt. Javier Toro and Det. Paola Bolivar for their work on the case leading to Girard’s arrest and guilty plea.
The victim did not attend Girard’s sentencing before Hudson County Superior Court Judge John Young today, but she was prepared to testify against Girard had the matter gone to trial.
Girard was originally charged with aggravated sexual assault, aggravated assault and burglary in March 2016. On Nov. 3, 2016, Girard pleaded guilty before Young to first degree aggravated sexual assault and second degree burglary, with the plea deal calling for a 15-year sentence.
Girard has remained in Hudson County jail in Kearny since his arrest. About 460 days of jail credit will be applied to his sentence.