ONLY ON CVP: Groped, choked, thrown into a mirror and through a door, then punched repeatedly in the face — before being chased into a parking lot for more of a beating — is what a former Clifton woman said was done to her by a man on trial in Hackensack.
It was Memorial Day last year when she stopped by her friend’s Anderson Street apartment to pick up her son from a outing, the woman told jurors in the sexual assault and beating trial of Paul Roseboro, Jr. of Hackensack.
She brought her young cousin along for the ride, she said, and when they’d nearly reached the top of the stairs to the 2nd-floor apartment, Roseboro asked: “Who’s that?”
“That’s my little cousin. She’s only 13,” she said she told him.
“I felt like he was hitting on her,” the woman testified, so she told the girl to wait in her car.
She then told her son to do the same.
As her friend went into the kitchen to prepare some food, the woman said in court Wednesday, Roseboro made a “sexual gesture” toward her. She put a finger on either side of her mouth and flicked her tongue in and out to demonstrate to the jurors.
“As I walked away, he grabbed my butt cheeks,” said the woman, who now lives in California with her Marine Corps husband and two children. “I yelled to my friend: ‘If this mother-effer touches me again, we’ll have a problem.’
“And she said: ‘Go ahead, do whatever you have to do’.”
At that point, she said, Roseboro grabbed her breast and she “punched him in the face with my fist.”
“Then he choked me with both hands, he swung my body around and my back shattered the glass in the mirror,” the woman testified. “He was still choking me and I was punching him with my left hand.”
The woman said Roseboro then threw her through the bedroom door and onto the floor and repeatedly punched her in the face.
“I was trying to figure out how to get away,” she said. “I crawled through his legs and ran outside to call 911….There was a red broom. I picked it up and started hitting him with it yelling: ‘I’m calling the police, I’m calling the police.’
“He was in a rage. He really wanted to hurt me,” the woman testified. “I felt like I was going to die.”
The beating continued as she made it to the parking lot and dialed 911, she said, adding that the sounds of the struggle could later be heard on the taped recording of the call.
“A woman who lived there had her window open and I asked her to please help me, to call the police,” she told jurors. “But no one helped me.”
The sound of police sirens stopped the assault, the woman said, adding that Roseboro ran to his car and drove off before officers got there.
“Did you know Mr. Roseboro?” Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Dion Findley asked her.
“I don’t know him, but I know who he is,” she replied. “I had met him about three times before that day.”
“Did you have any kind of intimate relationship with him?” Findley asked. “Did you flirt with him?”
“Absolutely not,” she said.
Roseboro, who turned 42 a week ago, is charged with criminal sexual contact and assault with the attempt to cause serious bodily injury. He remains free on $25,000 bail.
“Criminal sexual contact means you touched someone intimately without their consent…for sexual gratification or to degrade or humiliate the victim,” Findley told jurors. “Under the law, you can’t do that.”
The 6-foot, 280-pound Roseboro is claiming self-defense against the 5-foot-4-inch woman, who told jurors she “probably weighed about 180 [pounds] at the time.”
Defense attorney Ian Silvera contended that his client “had no choice but to use the legal force he is entitled to use.”
“This woman went ballistic on him, she lost her mind,” Silvera argued. “And what does she do? To distract, blow a smoke screen, she called the police and had to have a story to tell them.”
Findley, however, told jurors: “It doesn’t work that way.”
Although self-defense is recognized under the law, “it doesn’t absolve you of all further actions. They have to be appropriate to the degree of threat.”
The trial was continuing in Hackensack.
STORY / PHOTOS: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter
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