New Jersey Man Sentenced to 148 Years in Prison for Sexual Assault & Forcing Couples to Have Sex at Gunpoint

A woman stood and stared straight at the man who tainted her world and made it dark when he terrorized, robbed and sexually assaulted her and her male companion while at a motel six years ago and suggested his sentence should be execution.

“I hope you don’t have the option to see daylight again,” she said, adding she hopes his sentence would make him cry as much as his victims have.

The woman, one of eight victims, four women and four men, called Rasheed Powell a “monster” as she spoke in the crowded courtroom where Powell was sentenced to 148 years in state prison during the nearly two-hour proceeding.

The woman was one of four victims who spoke at the sentencing for Powell who was convicted in March of 60 counts, including 24 counts of aggravated sexual assault, in connection with forcing his way into motel rooms and forcing the couples to have sex at gunpoint, then locking the men in bathrooms and sexually assaulting the women.

The woman who addressed the court said the attack has made her a fearful person, robbing her of the young, social butterfly she once was.

“I’m afraid of people and what they are doing. I focus on work, family and I go straight home,” said the woman, who was attacked March 2012 at the Swan Motel in Linden, New Jersey.

Another woman sent a letter read by the judge explaining how the brutal assault on Easter Sunday 2012 changed her life forever by taking away her dignity and self-worth. She became suicidal and suffers from panic attacks, self mutilation and nightmares. She said Powell threatened to kill her and go after her family if she told anyone. She asked the judge to sentence Powell to life in prison.

The woman who spoke in court, however, also displayed her resilience.

“I’m standing up today. I won’t allow what you have done to control me,” she said. “You made your bed, now lie in it.”

Powell, 43, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, a father of two children who prosecutors said has been involved in crime since age 14 and has spent about 14 years of his adult life in prison for violent crime, meanwhile maintained his innocence.

“In due time proof will come out. I’m innocent,” said Powell, who argued he didn’t get a fair trial.

But Union County Superior Court Judge Robert Kirsch told Powell his reign of terror ends, adding his DNA was extracted from a rape kit, five of the eight victims identified him, his former girlfriend turned over the mask and black jacket he wore during the crimes and police found the handgun.

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Source: USA Today