James R. McManus, 19, of Lacey Township was sentenced to eight years in state prison for the sexual assault of a minor.
McManus, , plead guilty to one county of sexual assault, second degree, Senior Assistant Prosecutor Laura Pierro said.
McManus was 16 at the time of the alleged crimes. The minor was 10 years old. He was originally being tried as a juvenile, but the case was waived up to adult court, according Pierro.
The crimes, which involve penetration of a child younger than 13, occurred over a two-year time period in 2009 and 2010 at family members' homes in Seaside Heights, Toms River and Lacey, she said. The defendant and victim were known to one another.
“It was allegations,” Pierro said of the case. “(McManus) gave a factual basis to engaging in acts of sexual contact and penetration with a child under the age of 13.”
The victim as well as the victim’s mother and father spoke at the sentencing, she said.
“I sought eight years. The defense attorney was arguing five,” she said. Judge Francis R. Hodgson Jr. decided on an eight-year prison term.
Pierro explained that there is a five- to 10-year window but the sentencing depends on a number of factors, part of which was based on a lack of priors.
McManus was indicted in July by an Ocean County grand jury. He was originally charged with five counts of aggravated sexual assault of a minor, sexual assault of a minor and endangering the welfare of a child.
Pierro said she was satisfied with the outcome and thought it brought closure and justice to the victim and the victim’s family.