Victory Gardens Man Found Guilty of 2 Counts of First Degree Aggravated Sexual Assault of Juvenile Relative

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announces today that a Morris County Jury found Luis Soto, 43 years old, of Victory Gardens guilty of 2 counts of First Degree Aggravated Sexual Assault for acts of sexual penetration with a juvenile relative under the age of 16. The jury also found the defendant guilty of 3 counts of Second Degree Sexual Assault; 2 counts of Second Degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child; 1 count of Third Degree Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact; and 1 count of Fourth Degree Sexual Contact. All guilty findings involved the same victim. The guilty findings were based on the defendant’s acts with the juvenile victim between August 2005 and November 2010.

Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Margaret Rodriguez and Assistant Prosecutor Brent Rafuse represented the State in the trial which commenced on January 28, 2013.

The defendant was also charged with 1 count of Second Degree Sexual Assault; 1 count of Third Degree Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact; and 1 count of Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Contact. The defendant was found not guilty as to those charges.

The defendant faces up to 50 years in State Prison, subject to the No Early Release Act, Parole Supervision for Life, Registration Pursuant to Megan’s Law, and evaluation at the Adult Diagnostic Treatment Center.

The Honorable Salem Vincent Ahto revoked bail after the guilty findings. Judge Ahto remanded the defendant into custody at the Morris County Correctional Facility pending sentencing which is scheduled for April 2, 2013. Acting Prosecutor Knapp thanks the New Jersey State Police, Netcong Barracks and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit whose efforts contributed to this result.

Any inquiries can be directed to First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor/SDAG Thomas Zelante at 973-285-6252 or [email protected].

Update on Flanders Residential Fire

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Mount Olive Police Chief Mark Spitzer are confirming the identity of the juvenile victim who died in the fire yesterday, February 18, 2013 at Unit 56B Main Street, Flanders, New Jersey as Cristiano Bonner, age 7, the son of Carmella Moustafa and Robert Bonner. Hesham Moustafa, the husband of Carmella Moustafa, also died in yesterday’s fire. Carmella Moustafa sustained injuries in yesterday’s fire but has been released from the hospital.

A fourth victim of the fire, Bianca Bonner, age 9, the daughter of Carmella Moustafa and Robert Bonner, remains hospitalized in stable condition. Rewan Moustafa, age 19, the daughter of Hesham Moustafa, was in the residence at the time of the fire but did not sustain injuries.

The Mount Olive Police Department, Mount Olive Fire Marshal, Morris County Sheriff’s Office and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes and Arson Units conducted an Origin and Cause investigation into the fire. That investigation revealed that space heaters were being used to warm the apartment. One of those space heaters was placed near the apartment’s side door. The wiring used to power the space heater was improperly altered. This condition caused the fire in the foyer area. A lack of operational smoke detectors in the apartment allowed the fire to extend into the kitchen trapping the occupants in the rear of the apartment. The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental in nature.

Acting Prosecutor Knapp and Chief Spitzer request all individuals make sure all smoke detectors are operating properly with fresh batteries. Smoke detector batteries should be changed twice a year at daylight savings time. Space heaters should never be left unattended and manufacturer’s use instructions must be explicitly followed. A space heater, or any electrical appliance, should never be altered by anyone other than an approved technician.

Acting Prosecutor Knapp thanks Chief Mark Spitzer and the Mount Olive Police Department, Mount Olive Fire Marshall Fred Detoro, Flanders Fire Chief Frank Zeller and the Flanders Fire Department, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, the Morris County Office of Emergency Management, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes and Arson Units for services rendered at the scene.

Any inquiries can be directed to First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor/SDAG Thomas Zelante at 973-285-6252 or [email protected].

Butler Woman Found Guilty Of The Murder of Her Husband

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announced today that a Morris County Jury found 47 year old Amalia Mirasola guilty of the murder of her husband, Carl Mirasola. The jury also found her guilty of the possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. The jury returned its verdict after slightly more than one and one half days of deliberations. Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Troiano represented the State in the trial which had commenced on January 2, 2013.

The defendant was charged with murder and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose resulting in the shooting death of her husband on May 22, 2010. Carl Mirasola was 43 years old at the time of his death. The shooting occurred at the Mirasola’s Butler home.

The defendant faces 30 years to life in State Prison on the murder verdict and an additional 5 to 10 years in prison on the 2nd degree offense verdict of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

Acting Prosecutor Knapp stated “The jury considered the evidence and reached a result that shows their considered judgment. I am pleased that the victim’s family has received some level of closure with regard to this tragedy. Matthew Troiano did an absolutely wonderful job in presenting this case to the jury. The sentence recommendation that this Office makes shall be appropriate and supported by the reasons that we shall give to the court at the appropriate juncture.”

Acting Prosecutor Knapp thanks Chief Edward Card and the Butler Police Department, Sheriff Edward Rochford and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Section, the Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office, the New Jersey State Police and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit whose efforts contributed to this result.

The Honorable Robert J. Gilson revoked the defendant’s bail after the guilty findings and the defendant surrendered into custody. The defendant’s sentencing is scheduled for March 15, 2013 at 1:30 p.m.

Any inquiries can be directed to First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor/SDAG Thomas Zelante at 973-285-6252 or [email protected].