October 29, 2014

Rosenberg Receives Maximum Sentence in Animal Cruelty Case

Michael G. Rosenberg, the former Birch Avenue resident who was charged last year with animal cruelty, was sentenced to five years in state prison for actions that resulted in the death of a pet dog.

Mr. Rosenberg was indicted by a Mercer County grand jury February 13, 2014 on one count of third-degree animal cruelty, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in state prison. He pleaded guilty in May as part of a deal that would see other charges against him dropped.

Superior Court Judge Pedro J. Jimenez Jr. handed down the sentence October 17 with the dog’s owner, Tracy B. Stanton in court. Ms. Stanton read a statement that described Mr. Rosenberg as “sick and disturbed.” She commended Princeton Animal Control Officer Mark Johnson, who was also in the court room, for his efforts in bringing the case against Mr. Rosenberg.

Mr. Rosenberg was charged with causing the death of Ms Stanton’s three-year-old female German Shepherd mix named Shyanne after she had left the dog in his care for training purposes in August 2012. On the advice of a friend, Ms. Stanton, a resident of Lawrence, had left Shyanne with Mr. Rosenberg, then 31, who was working as a dog trainer from his home.

Two days after Ms. Stanton left her dog, Mr. Rosenberg called her to say that the dog was in need of veterinary attention. He then called again suggesting she come and pick up her dog immediately. Shortly thereafter, the dog was found unresponsive but still breathing on the front porch of Mr. Rosenberg’s residence. Shyanne died before arriving at the emergency veterinary hospital. Results of a necropsy, or animal autopsy, showed Shyanne to have four broken ribs and a punctured lung.

According to the complaints signed by Princeton Animal Control Officer Mark Johnson, Mr. Rosenberg hit Shyanne with a crop, slammed her to the ground, jabbed his fingers into her ribs, and failed to seek medical attention for her injuries.

At that time Mr. Johnson commented that in all his 19 years on the job, he had never seen a dog so cruelly treated that it had died of its injuries.

Mr. Johnson later brought charges against Mr. Rosenberg in a case involving Mr. Rosenberg’s own two dogs, Kaiser and Sanford. Those charges, as well as one involving a failed drug test, were later dismissed as part of a plea deal between Mr. Rosenberg, represented by attorney James R. Wronko, and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

Mr. Rosenberg is a registered sex offender in New Jersey. He had received a suspended four-year sentence in November 2011 for endangering the welfare of a 14-year-old girl with whom he had been having a sexual relationship since 2009.

A conviction for animal cruelty would have violated the terms of his parole.

After entering into the plea bargain, Mr. Rosenberg pleaded guilty in May of this year to third-degree animal cruelty in Shyanne’s case. The other charges against him were dropped.

Along with his sentence in the death of Shyanne, Mr. Rosenberg will now serve out concurrently the four-year sentence for child endangerment that was reinstated because of his parole violation.