Fmr. NJ cop, ex sentenced for teen sex assault

MOORESTOWN, N.J. - October 11, 2012

Suspended Moorestown police officer Robert Melia was sentenced to 30 years behind bars for the sexual assault of three teenagers and official misconduct charges.

Except for a few brief answers, Melia said nothing in court, nor did his ex-girlfriend and accomplice Heather Lewis.

She was given 25 years in jail for assaulting the girls as well as a teenage boy.

The two were convicted in April based in part on the contents of a lurid videotape showing the assault of one of the victims who was bound, blindfolded and unconscious.

The judge described Melia and Lewis as selfish and reckless.

"They sought sexual pleasure for themselves without any sense of responsibility or accountability for the harm they inflicted on their victims," said N.J. Superior Court Judge Charles Delehey.

Prosecutors had hoped for much tougher sentences.

"We were disappointed and hopeful that the 52-year sentence we'd asked for would be imposed," said assistant prosecutor Kevin Morgan. "We thought the law justified it and especially the level of victimization here merited that type of sentence."

Melia was suspended without pay from the Moorestown Police Department back in 2008 when he was arrested.

The department could not officially terminate him until after Thursday's sentencing. So now he will lose his benefits, pension and his job.

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