After his victim escaped, this kidnapper is handed a second indictment

James W. Parrillo Jr. has been charged with first-degree aggravated sexual assault after being accused of kidnapping a woman in New Mexico and holding her captive for nearly a year before she escaped from a residence in Burlington County, New Jersey, in February.

Parillo originally was charged with first-degree kidnapping, criminal restraint, aggravated assault and strangulation, as well as hindering apprehension, obstruction and refusing to provide a DNA sample after his February arrest but a state grand jury handed down an indictment containing the new charges.

James W. Parrillo Jr.

New Jersey State Police (NJSP) arrested Parrillo, 57, on February 7, 2023, after the woman fled to safety at a nearby gas station in Bass River Township, a moment captured on video showing the victim and an attendant locking the door, as the suspect can be seen on the other side.

She informed the police that Parrillo had kidnapped her in February 2022, and they had traveled across the country together until reaching New Jersey in December 2022.

Parrillo was taken into custody by state troopers shortly after the alleged escape. Initially charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault, hindering apprehension, and criminal restraint, he now faces six additional charges as stated in the May 3rd indictment.

These include two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, two counts of second-degree sexual assault, one count of second-degree criminal coercion, and one count of second-degree theft by extortion.

The indictment follows a further investigation conducted by the NJSP, with assistance from the Division of Criminal Justice Human Trafficking/Sexual Violence Unit and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, subsequent to Parrillo’s arrest.

Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin emphasized the commitment of the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General to ensuring justice for survivors of violence and sexual assault. He stated that individuals who come forward to report such crimes in the state would be treated with respect and dignity. Platkin also commended the thorough investigation carried out by law enforcement officials to hold perpetrators fully accountable.

Director Pearl Minato of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice stressed the gravity of the case, noting that the new charges of aggravated sexual assault heightened its severity. Minato affirmed the division’s determination to ensure that Parrillo faces prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.

According to court proceedings and documents, the victim, whose identity remains undisclosed, met Parrillo, known to her as “Brett Parker,” at a gas station in New Mexico in February 2022. She initially agreed to give him a ride to Arizona but later found herself in an abusive relationship when Parrillo physically assaulted her in California. During her captivity, Parrillo allegedly sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions and employed threats of bodily harm to restrict her freedom.

The woman’s escape occurred after she noticed an interior deadbolt on the door of a nearby gas station during a prior visit. She meticulously planned her escape, which took place on February 7. Parrillo allegedly began beating and choking her during an argument inside the Bass River Township residence but ceased when he realized they were not alone in the house. The victim took advantage of the situation, fleeing to the gas station wearing only shorts and a shirt despite the chilly 42-degree weather.

Once inside the gas station, she quickly secured the door and notified an attendant that she had been kidnapped. Surveillance footage from the gas station showed Parrillo following the woman and attempting to open the locked convenience store door before eventually leaving. Authorities apprehended Parrillo shortly thereafter. He is currently held in the Burlington County Jail pending trial.

During the pre-trial detention hearing, the State presented information from the victim, as well as evidence gathered from social media and online platforms, suggesting that Parrillo may have engaged in similar predatory behavior with individuals in other states. The state urged the public to contact the New Jersey State Police hotline at 855-363-6548 with any additional information about the defendant.

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