Trials & Litigation

Eye Contact with Gang-Rape Case Defendant Leads to 2-Year Jail Term for Potential Juror


After a prosecutor noticed that a man in the jury pool had made eye contact with a defendant in a Massachusetts gang-rape case, authorities apparently watched Jonathan G. Ngarambe closely.

Although he told the trial judge last March that he didn’t know any of the parties in the case, an investigation proved otherwise. The 23-year-old admitted this week that he knew not only at least two defendants but had contact with the victim, who was a high school classmate, according to a press release from the office of the Essex District Attorney.

On Wednesday, Ngarambe pleaded guilty in a perjury case and was sentenced to two years in prison for misleading the court as a potential juror, the Salem News reports.

An earlier Daily Item article published at the time of his arrest provides further details. It says that two defendants in the rape case admitted they knew Ngarambe and after Assistant District Attorney Greg Friedholm said he was concerned that the potential juror had lied, Salem police investigated and determined that Ngarambe had social media contact with two defendants.

His court-appointed lawyer, James Craig, said at Ngarambe’s arraignment in March that he had more than 4,600 Facebook friends and many followers on Twitter because he works at times as a club promoter.

“It’s a stretch to say he is close friends with everyone he is friends with on Facebook,” said Craig. “He has compiled a large list of followers as a means of generating income as a promoter.”

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