Jury convicts former residenton charges of sexual assault

By:Alec Moore
   A former Hillsborough man was found guilty of sexual assault charges Thursday, April 18.
   John Randall McLaughlin, 38, formerly of Van Liew Court was found guilty on one count of second degree sexual assault and one count of third degree aggravated criminal sexual contact by a Somerset County jury.
   According to Somerset County Prosecutor Wayne Forrest, Mr. McLaughlin was charged with unlawful sexual contact for committing various sexual acts with his step-daughter. The acts began sometime in 1996 and went on until August 1998, when they lived on Robin Road. The girl was a minor at the time. Mr. McLaughlin was initially charged in May 2000.
   During the trial Mr. McLaughlin’s step-daughter testified that she had contracted a sexually transmitted disease from Mr. McLaughlin as a result of the sex acts.
   Immediately following the jury’s four-hour deliberation, and subsequent announcement of the guilty verdict, Judge Victor Ashrafi revoked Mr. McLaughlin’s bail and remanded him to the Somerset County Jail pending sentencing. Mr. McLaughlin is to be sentenced in six to eight weeks.
   Mr. McLaughlin could receive a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison for the sexual assault conviction and an additional three to five years for the aggravated sexual contact conviction. The rulings may be served consecutively.