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Megan's Law offender convicted in sexual assault of Mullica teen

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A previously convicted Megan's Law offender was found guilty Wednesday in the sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl.

Marcelino Cruz, 34, of Mullica Township, befriended the girl while he was visiting a neighbor in Mullica Township, BreakingAC previously reported.

On Aug. 6, 2022, he went into the unlocked back door of the girl’s home, took off both their pants and had sexual intercourse with her while his hand was over her mouth. He had been out of prison less than a year, after serving time on similar charges that had him on Megan's Law supervision.

Cruz was not listed on the public online registry at that time, which is not required of all offenders.

He was living at a home in Hammonton, about three miles from the Mullica Elementary School, according to the charges.

The girl’s mother discovered messages between her daughter and Cruz through the iCloud the two shared, and they went to police.

Police also found an image of child sexual assault on Cruz's phone.

He now faces as many as 20 years in prison without parole. Then lifetime supervision would resume upon his release.

Cruz also faces as long as five years each for endangering the welfare of a child and possession of child sexual assault material.

He is scheduled for sentencing May 6, but sexual assault cases often have their sentences postponed while awaiting an evaluation.

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author

Lynda Cohen

BreakingAC founder who previously worked in newspapers for more than two decades. She is an NJPA award-winner and was a Stories of Atlantic City fellow.

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