MERCER COUNTY: Second victim identified, additional charges leveled against former corrections officer

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Donald Ryland (Courtesy photo)

Andrew Martins, Managing Editor
A 44-year-old Mercer County corrections officer who was arrested and charged with sexual assault last week has been linked to another alleged incident, according to Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri and Trenton Police Director Ernest Parrey Jr.
Donald J. Ryland has been charged with kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault and aggravated assault in relation to in incident that took place on Oct. 12. According to officials, Trenton patrol units responded to a home on Riverside Avenue after receiving an unknown trouble call.
Once officers arrived on the scene, officials said they found “an adult female victim with a visible laceration and swelling of her left eye.” The woman then told officials that she had gotten into Ryland’s vehicle and was taken to an unknown home. Once there, she told police that Ryland allegedly “grabbed her by the throat, put her in a headlock, struck her head against the porch and punched her in the head before sexually assaulting her and fleeing the area.”
Ryland was already in custody for another incident that allegedly took place on October 6 when a woman entered his vehicle in the area of South Broad Street. According to the woman’s account, Ryland then drove to Cadwalader Park where she got out of the vehicle.
Moments later, the woman said she saw Ryland running toward her before being knocked to the ground and sexually assaulted. She then fled the area and sought held from two guards at a park security gate.
That following week, the Trenton Police Department and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office conducted operations in the city aimed at identifying the suspect.
On October 15, Ryland was taken into custody without incident. He is scheduled for a detention hearing on October 25 at 10 a.m.
The case was investigated by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Special Victims Unit, with assistance from the Cyber Crimes and Special Investigations units, and the Trenton Police Special Victims Unit, with assistance from the Street Crimes Unit. The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information on the case should contact Mercer County Prosecutor’s SVU Detective Anthony Petracca at 609-989-6424 or Trenton Police Detective Laurel Rogers at 609-989-4155.