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Man Admits to 1992 Sexual Assault

Dewaine Thornton said he broke into a woman's apartment and assaulted her during a robbery.

A Deptford man pleaded guilty to breaking into a West Deptford apartment and sexually assaulting the woman who lived there alone on April 18, 1992, the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office announced Friday afternoon.

Dewaine Thornton, 54, was charged with the crime on March 20, 2012 after authorities matched the DNA from the victim’s rape examination kit with that of Thornton.  Thornton’s DNA had been obtained when he was charged with a narcotics offense, as convicted defendants in New Jersey are required to give a DNA sample that is entered into a nationwide database. Thornton pleaded guilty to resisting arrest during that incident on Friday.

He was not exempt from prosecution of the sexual assault crime under the statute of limitations because he didn’t become a suspect until 2010.

Thornto and the 39-year-old victim weren’t acquainted, and the sexual assault took place as he was robbing the apartment, Thornton admitted in court on Friday. He also admitted he was on drugs at the time, and he took money from the apartment.

Thornton will be evaluated at the state’s Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center for sex offenders in Avenel. The evaluation will determine whether Thornton is a repetitive and compulsive sex offender. If it’s determined that he is, he may serve is sentence at Avenel and receive treatment.

As a result, no sentencing date has been set.

Senior Assistant Gloucester County Prosecutor Audrey Curwin will recommend that Thornton be sentenced to 13 years in New Jersey state prison on the first-degree sexual assault charge.  In addition, she will recommend a concurrent three-year sentence for resisting arrest.

Thornton also will be subject to reporting requirements of Megan’s Law for sex offenders and may have his name and address posted on the Internet.

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