Man sentenced to prison for kidnapping, assaulting Roseland man

NEWARK, NJ — James Pilotti, 43, of Union City, was sentenced to 40 years in New Jersey State Prison for kidnapping, aggravated assault, weapons charges and strangulation, according to an April 28 press release from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.

On April 27, Superior Court Judge Harold Fullilove Jr., who presided over Pilotti’s trial, imposed a 40-year sentence on the defendant. Under the No Early Release Act, Pilotti must serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole. 

In March, an Essex County jury convicted Pilotti of nine counts: first-degree kidnapping, aggravated assault, three counts of unlawful possession of a weapon, three counts of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and aggravated assault by strangulation on a domestic violence victim. The jury was deadlocked on the charge of attempted murder.

The case was tried by Assistant Prosecutors Renee Shafran and Julianne Bollettieri.

On Aug. 15, 2019, through the next morning of Aug. 16, 2019, Pilotti kidnapped the victim, with whom he had a prior sexual relationship, at the victim’s home in Roseland. Pilotti had been released from jail four days prior, after serving a sentence for breaking into that same victim’s home in 2018. 

Throughout the night and early morning of Aug. 15 and 16, Pilotti bound the victim with cords and duct tape and proceeded to beat him with not only his fists but also a lamp and a brick. Pilotti strangled the victim until the victim passed out. The torture and beating continued for approximately six hours until Pilotti forced the victim to take sleeping pills with alcohol. The victim was ultimately able to break free and flee the home to a nearby neighbor for help.

“We hope this sentence will provide healing and some measure of closure to the victim,” Bollettieri said. “We also thank members of the Roseland Police Department for their hard work in the investigation on this case.’’

Before being sentenced in this case, the defendant had seven previous convictions dating back to 1996, including for aggravated assault, weapons offenses, making terroristic threats, resisting arrest, theft and criminal mischief.