Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced a 25-year-old Philadelphia man was sentenced to 13 years in New Jersey state prison for an armed home invasion earlier this year in Medford Township during which he pointed a gun at the head of a babysitter, who was caring for the homeowners’ 2-year-old child before locking her in a basement bathroom and threatening to kill her if she exited.
Shannon M. Soroka, of Ontario Street, must serve 11 years before becoming eligible for parole. The sentence handed down yesterday by the Hon. James J. Morley, J.S.C. was in accordance with an agreement between the prosecutor’s office and the defendant. Soroka pled guilty in July to robbery (first degree), burglary (second degree) and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose (second degree).
On the afternoon of March 31, he entered the home with a handgun as the babysitter, 19, was in the kitchen area with the child. Soroka pointed the gun at her head, then put it in the middle of her back and directed her around the house at gunpoint looking for cash.
She was able to place the child in a bedroom and close the door before being taken to the basement and locked in the bathroom. She escaped through a window and ran to a neighbor’s house to call police.
Soroka was charged a day after committing the crime. The investigation revealed that he had accumulated tens of thousands of dollars in gambling and drug debts, and entered the home with the hope of finding money.
“We admire the courage displayed by the victim and her determination to protect the child under her care,” Coffina said. “This is one of the most frightening situations anyone could encounter, and I commend the investigators who identified and quickly apprehended this dangerous defendant.”
Soroka was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Julian A. Harris. The investigation was conducted by detectives from the Medford Township Police Department, with assistance from the State Police.