PHILLIPSBURG, NJ (Warren County) – A Pennsylvania man faces a slew of charges after he allegedly sexually assaulted a woman while holding a knife to her throat in September 2021 in Phillipsburg, the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office said Friday.
John H. Holmes, 40, of Easton was charged with two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, third-degree terroristic threats, third-degree criminal restraint, third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, fourth-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, third-degree aggravated assault, and theft.
On Sept. 27, 2021, police were notified that a victim had been physically and sexually assaulted by an unknown man in Phillipsburg, authorities said.
The victim reported to law enforcement that earlier in the evening she was in New York City and took a bus back to the Easton, Pennsylvania area. The victim reported that as she got off the bus and Holmes approached her and began walking with her across the Northampton Street Bridge towards Union Square in Phillipsburg, prosecutor’s office said.
The victim explained that after crossing the bridge, Holmes physically attacked her in an alley way and she attempted to fend him off. At that time, Holmes produced a knife and held it to her throat, authorities said.
Holmes told the victim he would not harm her if she remained quiet. It was at that time the victim reported she was sexually assaulted by Holmes, prosecutor’s office said.
After the sexual assault, the victim was able to get free and ran to a nearby neighborhood where she was able to make contact with a member of the community and contact police, authorities said.
During the assault, the victim reported dropping her purse. The purse was later recovered with approximately $80.00 in cash missing. DNA evidence was collected and analyzed which matches Holmes’s DNA, prosecutor’s office said.
Holmes was recently arrested in Easton and is currently lodged a Northampton County Prison pending extradition to New Jersey, authorities said.
The Warren County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victim’s Unit, Phillipsburg Police Department, the New Jersey State Police – Fugitive Unit, US Marshals Service NY /NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force, US Marshals Service Eastern District of Pennsylvania Violent Crimes Fugitive Task Force and the Easton Police Department Criminal Investigation Division assisted in the investigation.