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Wednesday, April 24, 2024


Rosado Dismissal Denied, Stay Approved

Jerry Rosado sits in a wheelchair at a hearing on his motion to dismiss

By Christopher South

COURT HOUSE — Superior Court Judge Bernard DeLury Jr. declined the latest attempt to dismiss charges against Jerry Rosado, the man accused of the 1990 assault of Susan Negersmith. DeLury agreed to a stay in the proceedings while the ruling is appealed. 
Attorney Eric Shenkus, the court-appointed lawyer for Jerry Rosado, filed a motion to have the single count of sexual assault against his client dismissed. Shenkus argued that, after 32 years, the statute of limitations has expired for the offense of which Rosado is accused. Shenkus’ motion to dismiss says the statute of limitations, in fact, expired five years after the incident. Negersmith’s body was found near a dumpster in an alley in Wildwood. 
After DeLury denied the motion to dismiss, Shenkus asked to put the proceedings on hold while he filed an interlocutory appeal with the Appellate Division. An interlocutory appeal is an appeal of a single issue before the case is complete — in this case, the decision denying the motion to dismiss. DeLury granted Shenkus’ request, so nothing will happen until the appeal is resolved. 
Meanwhile, Rosado, 63, of Millville, remains housed in the Cape May County Correctional Facility, where he has been detained since his arrest on April 8. Part of the justification for the motion to dismiss was Rosado’s ill health. Rosado has been in a wheelchair for each of his court appearances. He is facing 5 to 10 years in state prison if convicted. 
Negersmith, 20, had visited Wildwood from Putnam County, New York over the 1990 Memorial Day weekend. On Sunday, her lifeless body was found in an alley behind a restaurant. Authorities found she had been raped, but her death was determined to be accidental. A college student, Negersmith had apparently been partying with friends before her death. Her blood alcohol content was .285 at the time of her death.
According to the complaint filed by the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, Negersmith was too impaired to be able to consent to sexual relations. DNA evidence was found internally and under Negersmith’s fingernails.
It took roughly three years for the death to be ruled a murder, and until 2018, there was no movement in the case. In August 2018, the then-unknown DNA profile was submitted to a laboratory. Short tandem repeat (STR) DNA evidence later identified Rosado as a person of interest in the case. STR analysis is the most commonly used type of DNA profiling for criminal cases. 
Rosado consented to a cheek swab to extract a DNA sample on May 26, 2021. In June 2021, the New Jersey State Police DNA Laboratory concluded that Rosado was a DNA match to the unknown sample left on Negersmith. 
Police interviewed a man immediately following Negersmith’s death. The state’s affidavit of probable cause identifies that man as Frederick Alfarano Sr. He has since been reinterviewed. 
The affidavit states that he had attempted to escort Negersmith from a party to her motel but was unsuccessful. Alfarano eventually left Negersmith in the area where her body was discovered the next day. 
Upon Rosado’s arrest, Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey Sutherland credited improvements in DNA Technology and Genetic Genealogy Analysis with leading to a long-overdue arrest.  The case apparently frustrated prosecutors for decades. 
Former Prosecutor Robert Taylor had taken measures to put the DNA, later linked to Rosado, in an international database, in addition to the national database. 
No murder charges have been filed.
Chief Assistant Prosecutor Saverio Carrocia has been assigned to prosecute the case.  
Have any thoughts and/or information on this story? Email 

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