'Your reign of terror ends here': Man who forced couples to have sex at gunpoint and then raped the women gets 148 years in prison

During the sentencing on Thursday, August 16, 2018, Union County Superior Court Judge Robert Kirsch called Powell a "serial rapist"


                            'Your reign of terror ends here': Man who forced couples to have sex at gunpoint and then raped the women gets 148 years in prison

A man who forced couples to have sex at gunpoint before locking the men in bathrooms and raping the women in New Jersey motels has been sentenced to 148 years in prison. The father-of-two, now identified as Rasheed Powell of Elizabeth, was convicted in March for 60 counts including charges of sexual assault and aggravated robbery.

Back in 2012, there were eight victims, four men and four women, in crimes that took place over a course of two months in the towns of Elizabeth and Linden in New Jersey. The 43-year-old rapist stalked his victims on four occasions, before forcing his way into their motel rooms, making the couples engage in sexual intercourse in front of him before locking up the men in the bathroom and raping their partners.

Powell reportedly made his victims "loudly compliment" him so that their trapped partners would hear them, the Springfield Municipal Court heard.

He was arrested after he responded to traffic summons in court back in April 2012, after which his bail was set at a staggering $3 million. On August 16, Powell was read his fate in court over a course of two hours before being sentenced.

At the end of the eight-week trial, a jury deliberated for over three-and-a-half days before reaching a consensus. While initially the Union County Prosecutor's Office Special Victims Unit sought 200 years for Powell, he was ultimately sentenced to 148 years in jail.

Powell was charged on 24 counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault and eight counts of robbery, which is a first-degree crime, according to Daily Mail. He was also charged with 12 weapons offenses, four counts of burglary, which is a second-degree crime, and 12 counts of sexual assault.

In a last-ditch effort, Erin Cook, the attorney representing Powell, asked that his client only to be punished per couple, as against per individual, in which case he would get 80 years instead of 148.



The serial rapist has been in trouble with the law since he was 14 years old and has already spent 14 years in prison until now. Robert Kirsh, the Supreme Court judge presiding over the case, denied the lawyer's plea while mentioning the extensive evidence gathered against his client.

Rape kits were used to match Powell's DNA with the forensic data in addition to the mask he used to disguise his identity along with his jacket and gun, which were handed over by his former girlfriend. "Your reign of terror ends here, now," Judge Kirsch added.

However, Powell claimed that he didn't get a fair trial, and said, "In due time proof will come out. I'm innocent." Two men and two women, who were victims of Powell's actions, were present in court and shared their stories of how the "monster" had affected their individual lives.

A woman who was assaulted by him at a Route 1&9 motel said. "I hope you don't have the option to see daylight again." She was attacked at the Swan Motel in Linden and told those in attendance "I'm afraid of people and what they are doing. I focus on work, family and I go straight home."

Another victim told the crowded court how she has suffered from panic attacks and nightmares after the incident and asked for a life sentence for Powell. She was raped on Easter Sunday back in 2012.