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COURT HOUSE - Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey H. Sutherland announced Feb. 19 that Jerry Shields, 32, of Port Jefferson, New York, was sentenced to 11 years in New Jersey State Prison by the Honorable Bernard E. DeLury Jr., presiding judge of the Criminal Part.  

According to a release, this sentence was related to a July 13, 2018, sexual assault that occurred in Avalon, and the joint investigation that was conducted by detectives from the Avalon Police Department and the Cape May County Prosecutor's Office.  

Shields was indicted Jan. 22, 2019, on second-degree sexual assault, two counts of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child, and Shields Nov. 26, 2019, was also indicted on first-degree witness tampering and fourth-degree contempt of a court order. Shields pleaded guilty to first-degree witness tampering and second-degree sexual assault. DeLury sentenced Shields to seven years in New Jersey State Prison, of which he must serve three and a half years on witness tampering and to a consecutive term of four years on the sexual assault charge, which is subject to the No Early Release Act.  

Sutherland stated his office will continue to work hand in hand with the local municipalities to aggressively investigate and prosecute violent crimes within the county, and he would like to recognize the investigative efforts of the officers and detectives involved in this investigation, along with Senior Assistant Prosecutor Julie Mazur, who prosecuted this case.  

Sutherland continues to urge the citizens of Cape May County to report information regarding any criminal activity within the community, and that this information can be reported 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, at 609-889-3597, or the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, at 609-465-1135. 

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