JURY FINDS MAN GUILTY OF SEXUAL ASSAULT

An Atlantic County jury took less than half an hour to find a Hamilton Township man guilty of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child in connection with two assaults upon a 6-year-old girl that took place from August through December of 2009, Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel announced Thursday.
Ruel Lawas, 32, who had been free on bail, was placed in custody immediately following the jury’s verdict, according to Assistant Prosecutor Pamela D’Arcy who tried the case on behalf of the state.
Lawas will be sentenced before Superior Court Judge Michael A. Donio on Sept. 2. The defendant faces a maximum of 10 years in prison of which he must serve at least 85-percent or eight years and six months before becoming eligible for parole.
Lawas’ trial began on Monday. Jurors heard testimony from 12 witnesses, including the now seven-year-old victim as well as the defendant, Assistant Prosecutor D’Arcy said.

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