SEX CRIMES – MIDDLESEX COUNTY; SEXUAL ASSAULT

A Middlesex man was arrested on charges he had a two-year tryst with a 14-year-old township girl.  Authorities said the man, a tattoo artist, coerced sexual favors from the girl in exchange for giving her a free tattoo.  He has been charged with multiple offenses including three counts of statutory sexual assault and four counts of aggravated sexual assault.

Statutory sexual assault is consensual sex with a minor who is too young to give her consent to having sex.  The age of sexual consent is in New Jersey is 16.  This is a strict liability offense, meaning it is not relevant whether or not an individual knew he was having sex with a minor.  The act in itself is enough to result in a conviction.  In New Jersey, the crime of statutory rape is charged as either sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault, depending on the age of the victim.  Clearly, the younger the victim, the greater the chance of being charged with aggravated sexual assault as it carries an even stiffer sentence.

A conviction for statutory sexual assault could result in a prison sentence of up to 10 years. For aggravated sexual assault, the maximum prison sentence is 20 years. Additionally, defendants convicted of either of these crimes must register as sex offenders under Megan’s Law if the victim was under the age of consent. This law requires you to give your name, whereabouts and a list of your crimes to the local community. Additionally, a conviction of aggravated sexual assault requires registration for life.

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