Jersey City based pastor sentenced for sexually assaulting minors

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On Jan. 21, Judge John Young sentenced Jersey City Pastor Josue Rodriguez, 62, to 15 years in New Jersey state prison on two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault of two different children.

According to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, Rodriguez sexually abused one victim between the ages of six and nine and a second victim between the ages of eight and 15.

Rodriguez was a pastor and taught religion to children at Temple Refugio; he taught both victims.

On April 30, 2019, shortly after 5 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  in connection with alleged sexual crimes that occurred at Templo Refugio at 322 3rd Street in downtown Jersey City.

Earlier that same day, the mother of a juvenile female victim reported the alleged crimes to the Jersey City Police Department.

During the course of the investigation, a second victim was also identified.

On Aug. 12, 2020, Rodriguez pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault on the two different victims.

His 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 percent parole ineligibility pursuant to the No Early Release Act. Rodriguez will also be subject to Megan’s Law and Parole Supervision for Life.

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