Update, Oct. 11: Robert Melia and Heather Lewis learned their fates. Read about it at Moorestown Cop Robert Melia Gets 30-Year Sentence for Sex Crimes.
Suspended Moorestown police officer Robert Melia, who was convicted in April on a slew of sexual assault charges, is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday morning.
Melia was originally supposed to be sentenced back in September, but the hearing has since been delayed a number of times.
Joel Bewley, spokesman for the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office, has said the prosecution will seek sentences in excess of 50 years for both Melia and his ex-girlfriend, Heather Lewis, who was also found guilty of several sex crimes.
Melia, who formerly lived on Cottage Avenue in Moorestown, was suspended without pay from the Moorestown Police Department after his arrest in 2008.
Township attorney Thomas Coleman said Melia cannot be formally terminated until after his sentencing. Melia will lose all his benefits and pension upon being fired from the department, Coleman explained.
The often-explicit three-week trial laid bare the sex lives of Melia and Lewis, including their interest in bondage and tens of thousands of pornographic videos in their home.
Three teenage girls accused Melia and Lewis of sexually assaulting them in various ways. A damning video showed one of the accusers blindfolded and shackled, with Lewis performing various sex acts on the girl and the girl instructed to perform sex acts on Lewis.
Melia and Lewis’ case drew national attention not only because of his position as a Moorestown police officer, but because the original indictment included animal cruelty charges against Melia for allegedly performing sex acts on calves. Those charges were previously dismissed.
The sentencing hearing is set to begin at 9 a.m. at the Burlington County courthouse in Mount Holly.