What to Know
- A man convicted of targeting couples at NJ motels, forcing them to have sex at gunpoint before robbing them has been sentenced to 148 years
- Rasheed Powell, 43, was convicted in March on 60 counts, including aggravated sexual assault and robbery charges
- Prosecutors say the assaults occurred during a two-month period in 2012 at motels in Linden and Elizabeth
A man convicted of targeting couples at New Jersey motels and forcing them to have sex at gunpoint before he robbed them has been sentenced to 148 years in state prison.
A judge told Rasheed Powell "your reign of terror ends here" when he imposed the sentence Thursday. The 43-year-old Elizabeth man was convicted in March on 60 counts, including aggravated sexual assault and robbery charges.
Union County prosecutors say the assaults occurred during a two-month period in 2012 at motels in Linden and Elizabeth where he “robbed, psychologically tortured and sexually assaulted four couples staying at local motels.”
Beginning on Saturday, March 10, 2012, Powell targeted couples checking into motels along U.S. Routes 1&9 in Elizabeth and Linden, prosecutors say, adding that Powell stalked couples as they entered their rooms, then forced his way inside and ordered the couples to engage in sexual acts at gunpoint. He then locked the men up in the bathroom and sexually assaulted the women.
Authorities used DNA to identify Powell as a suspect and was subsequently arrested on April 16, 2012 while at Springfield Municipal Court, where he was responding to a traffic summons.
Powell had six indictable convictions on crimes in three other New Jersey counties before 2012. He remained jailed on $3 million bail following his arrest.
Following an eight-week trial and three-and-a-half days of jury deliberations, he was convicted in March 2018 on 24 counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, 12 counts of second-degree sexual assault, eight counts of first-degree robbery, four counts of second-degree burglary and 12 related weapons offenses.
The judge ordered that sentences for 12 of the crimes be served consecutively, with the remainder to be served concurrently.