Posted Monday, December 21st, 2015

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp has announces the sentencing of Andrew Pena, age 48, formerly of Vernon, Sussex County for a 2007 sexual assault in Butler.

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Pena was sentenced on Friday by Superior Court Judge Stephen J. Taylor. He sentenced Pena to serve 20 years in state prison for aggravated sexual assault, 8 years for burglary, and another 16 months for criminal sexual contact. Pena will be ineligible for parole for 24 years pursuant to the No Early Release Act.

On Nov, 10, a Morris County jury returned guilty verdicts on counts of aggravated sexual assault, burglary, sexual assault by force or coercion, and criminal sexual contact following a three week trial.

The prosecution stemmed from Pena’s arrest for his role in the sexual assault of a young woman in Butler in January of 2007.

The State was represented by Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Schellhorn. At Pena’s request, he was permitted to represent himself during the trial and at sentencing.

Prosecutor Knapp stated: “The apprehension, conviction and lengthy incarceration of this repeated and dangerous defendant is necessary for deterrence and for protection of the public. Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Schellhorn and Detective Janet Thai worked tirelessly and flawlessly in representing the State. Both are to be highly commended for their outstanding efforts.”

The prosecutor thanked the Butler Police Department, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Section, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes Unit, and the Morris County Victim/Witness Unit for their efforts in this investigation and trial.

Any inquiries can be directed to Morris County Deputy Chief of Investigations Denise Arseneault at 973-285-6262 or [email protected].