FREEHOLDA Wall Township man was sentenced to 10 years in a New Jersey state prison for violently abusing his 15-month-old son, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Austin Meli, 23, pleaded guilty on Oct. 29, 2019, before the Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Ellen Torregrossa-O’Connor, to charges of second degree Aggravated Assault, two counts of second degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and fourth degree Tampering with Physical Evidence. Judge Torregrossa-O’Connor sentenced Meli Friday to 10 years in a New Jersey state prison, subject to the provisions of the “No Early Release Act” (NERA) requiring him to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole. He would also be under parole supervision for three years following his release from state prison.

The charges stem from an incident on March 9, 2019, when Wall Township Police Department responded to a residence in the township for a call for service. A joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Wall Township police learned Meli was physically abusing his then-15-month-old son, A.B. Some of the abuse inflicted upon A.B. was captured on video surveillance cameras Meli had installed in the room he shared with his family.

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Ellyn Rajfer.

#   #   #