JERSEY CITY PASTOR SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS FOR AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT OF TWO CHILDREN

Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez has released the following information:

On Thursday, January 21, 2021, the Honorable John A. Young, J.S.C. sentenced Josue Rodriguez, age 62, of Jersey City, to 15 years in New Jersey state prison on two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault of two different juvenile victims.

The 15-year sentence is to be served with 15 years of parole ineligibility on a Jessica Lunsford Act count to run concurrent to a 15 year sentence with 85% parole ineligibility pursuant to the No Early Release Act. Rodriguez will also be subject to Megan’s Law and Parole Supervision for Life.

Rodriguez was a pastor and taught religion to children at Temple Refugio, a Jersey City church. He taught both victims. Rodriguez sexually abused one victim between the ages of six and nine and a second victim between the ages of eight and fifteen.

On April 30, 2019, shortly after 5:00 p.m., members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit arrested Rodriguez in the area of Communipaw Avenue and Bergen Avenue in Jersey City. Rodriguez was arrested in connection with alleged sexual crimes that occurred at Templo Refugio located at 322 3rd Street in Jersey City. The alleged crimes involved a juvenile female victim and were first reported to the Jersey City Police Department by the mother of the victim earlier in the day on April 30.

During the course of the investigation, a second victim was also identified. On August 12, 2020, Rodriguez pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault on two different victims.

The State was represented in this case by Assistant Prosecutor Barbara Drasheff of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit.
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