NEWARK, NJ – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that Craig Holifield, 33, of Newark has been sentenced to 15 years in New Jersey State Prison by the Honorable John Zunic, Judge of the Superior Court, after pleading guilty to one count of first degree aggravated sexual assault and one count of second degree endangering the welfare of a child.

Holifield admitted to sexually assaulting an 11-year-old female in East Orange on July 28, 2015, according to Assistant Prosecutor Kathleen Lyons-Boswick of the Special Victims Unit, who handled the case.

“The victim’s older sister spoke at the sentencing hearing and told Judge Zunic this has been a traumatic experience for this young victim, and one that she continues to deal with on a daily basis.  With the help of her family, she is working to heal.  Judge Zunic imposed a substantial sentence which will go a long way toward protecting the community from this sexual predator,” said Assistant Prosecutor Lyons-Boswick.

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Under the terms of the plea agreement, Holifield must serve 15 years before he is eligible for parole. The defendant was also sentenced to Megan’s Law registration and lifetime parole supervision.  

Holifield has six prior felony convictions.