††††††††††††††††††† †††† Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office

††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† 25 Kirkpatrick Street, 3rd Floor, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901 (732) 745-3300


††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† *News Release* †† ††††††Date: June 1, 2009




Former Newark man admits 2004 sex assault



††††††††† Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan announced today that a former Newark resident pleaded guilty on Friday, May 29, 2009, to a charge of sexually assaulting a 23-year-old woman in New Brunswick in 2004.


††††††††† Michael Shephard (DOB 7/18/76) admitted a count of first degree aggravated sexual assault when he broke into the off-campus apartment of the woman, a Rutgers University student, and assaulted her on May 8, 2004.


Under a plea agreement negotiated with Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Scott LaMountain, the defendant faces 15 years in a New Jersey state prison when he is sentenced August 31, 2009, by Superior Court Judge Bradley Ferencz at the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick.


As part of the plea, Shephard must serve 85 percent of the prison term before he can be considered for parole. In addition, he will be required to register as a sex offender under Meganís Law, and faces lifetime parole supervision.


Shephard was indicted by a Middlesex County grand jury in July 2007, after an investigation by Sgt. Randi Colatrella and Sgt. Christopher Penna, both of the Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office, gathered DNA evidence linking the defendant to the assault.


At the time, Shephard was being held in California on charges of sexually assaulting women in two unrelated incidents. He subsequently was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison for attacking an 18-year-old woman in San Diego on June 23, 2003, and was sentenced to a consecutive, eight-year term for assaulting a 32-year-old woman in Santa Clara County on July 3, 2003.


Should he ever be paroled in California, Shephard would be returned to New Jersey to begin serving his prison term for assaulting the student in New Brunswick.