Twice-deported Man Admits Raping, Murdering Jogger in Jersey City Park
JERSEY CITY — A Honduran national who illegally returned to the United States after having been twice deported has admitted to raping and killing a woman who was jogging in a park last year.
Jorge A. Rios pleaded guilty Monday to first-degree murder and first-degree aggravated sexual assault of 45-year-old Carolina Cano.
Rios confessed to raping and then strangling Cano in Lincoln Park early in the morning on March 24, 2019, according to the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office.
At the time of his arrest, Rios was said to be 33.
Sentencing has been scheduled for April 24, at which point prosecutors will recommend 30 years in state prison for the murder.
They also will recommend 10 years in prison for the aggravated sexual assault, to be served at the same time.
The crime of murder carries a mandatory minimum of 30 years of parole ineligibility.
The murder case was among three mentioned last week amid President Donald Trump's campaign rally visit to New Jersey.
The Trump campaign said Democrats support “radical open-border policies” that could have contributed to violent crimes in the state, listing Cano's killing, along with the 2018 stabbing death of 16-year-old Madison Wells, the rape and abduction of a 15-year-old girl from Paterson last year, and a drunk-driving crash that injured a pedestrian in September.
After the rally, state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said on Twitter that Trump was "lying" about the state's policy, and that the policy does not provide "sanctuary" to those that break the law.
Last April, the same case spurred state Sen. Joe Pennacchio, R-Morris, to call for legislative hearings on the same Immigrant Trust Directive that the Trump campaign also referenced, which limits voluntary cooperation by law enforcement in New Jersey with federal immigration authorities.
Pennacchio said he believes the directive encourages immigrants in this country illegally, like Rios, to seek harbor in New Jersey.
Last March, Pennacchio introduced a bill that would require Megan's Law registration upon arrest in New Jersey for immigrants living here illegally who have been convicted or are fleeing a sex crime charge from another country.
The measure stalled in that legislative session.