News

Individual Arrested for Sexual Assault and Witness Tampering

November 27, 2019

Cape May Court House, New Jersey – Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey H. Sutherland along with Chief Jeffrey Christopher of the Avalon Police Department announce the Grand Jury indictment of 31-year old Jerry Shields on Sexual Assault and Witness Tampering charges.

On November 26, 2019, Jerry Shields was indicted by a Cape May County Grand Jury for one count Sexual Assault, a crime of the 2nd degree; two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, a crime of the 3rd degree; one count Witness Tampering, a crime of the 1st degree; one count of Contempt, a crime of the 4th degree; and one count of Terroristic Threats, a crime of the 3rd degree.

This indictment was the result of a joint investigation conducted by detectives from the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office and the Avalon Police Department which was initiated in October of 2018 due to a report of a Sexual Assault. As a result of the initial investigation, on December 5, 2018, Jerry Shields was arrested and charged with one count of Sexual Assault and two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child.

In September of 2019, the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office received additional information regarding allegations of Witness Tampering in connection with the initial investigation. These additional allegations were investigated and as a result, Shields was arrested a second time on September 17, 2019 in New York and additionally charged with Witness Tampering, a crime of the 1st degree and Contempt of Court, a crime of the 4th degree. Shields was later extradited back to New Jersey and is currently lodged in the Cape May County Correctional Center pending court proceedings*.

Prosecutor Sutherland stated a person convicted of a first-degree crime is subject to a term of imprisonment of 10 to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison. A person convicted of a second-degree crime is subject to a term of imprisonment of 5 to 10 years. A person convicted of a third-degree crime is subject to a term of imprisonment of 3 to 5 years in State Prison and a fourth degree crime can carry a sentence of up to 18 months in jail.

Prosecutor Sutherland would like to thank the Suffolk County New York Police Department for their assistance in this investigation and urges anyone who has additional information relating to this investigation to contact the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-465-1135, or report it anonymously through the Cape May County Sheriff’s Tip Line at cmcsheriff.net and click on anonymous tip, or through the Cape May County Crime Stoppers, 609-465-2800.

*Any charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless he is proven guilty.