Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that a North Carolina man was convicted of breaking into an Irvington apartment, hogtying and sexually assaulting two women over four hours.
An Essex County jury convicted Anthony Massenburg, 40, of Louisburg, N.C. of 14 counts, including attempted murder, aggravated assault, sexual assault, criminal restraint, terroristic threats, burglary and multiple weapons offenses.
“This was a horrific crime involving two innocent women,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Eric Plant, who tried the case.
On Jan. 21, 2010, Massenberg and three other masked men broke into the victim’s home – a basement apartment in Irvington. They were looking for the victim’s boyfriend with whom they had a dispute.
When the girlfriend refused to tell them how to find the boyfriend, Massenburg and the other masked men used zip cords to hogtie the hands and ankles of the girlfriend, a 36-year-old Irvington woman; and her friend, a 31-year-old Irvington woman, who was just visiting. During the course of four hours, Massenburg tortured and sexually assaulted the two women.
In addition to sexually assaulting the victims, Massenburg attempted to drown the girlfriend in the bathtub. He also used a plastic bad to suffocate the friend until the girlfriend agreed to call her boyfriend. When the boyfriend returned to the house, he was hit in the head with a hammer but was able to escape.
The women’s eyes and mouths were duct taped during the four-hour ordeal but they were able to identify Massenberg as their attacker using voice identification. He was also linked to the crime because his DNA was discovered on a cigarette found at the apartment.
Two of the men who were involved were never identified. A third man, Nairi Richardson, 28, of Newark was acquitted. Massenburg was on the run for a year following the crime before he was apprehended in North Carolina when he was stopped for a traffic violation.
Massenburg is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 23, 2012 by the Honorable Joseph Cassini, 3rd, J.S.C. The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office will ask that he be sentenced as a “persistent offender” because of his prior convictions. He has five separate convictions for offenses in New Jersey and at least four felony convictions in North Carolina. The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office will seek three consecutive 30-year sentences.