Ocean County man charged in underage prostitution case

A 64 year old Toms River man became the fourth man to be arrested in an underage prostitution scheme earlier this month. The suspect was detained on $175,000 bail and charged with child endangerment and engaging in prostitution with a minor.


The offense of endangering the welfare of a child applies when an actor engages in a prohibited sexual act with a child who is less than 16 years old. “Prohibited sexual acts” include not just sexual penetration, but also bestiality, sadism, masochism, oral sex, and the possession, creation, or distribution of child pornography. The severity of child endangerment charges varies depending on the underlying offense, ranging from fourth degree criminal charges for viewing or possessing child pornography to first degree criminal charges for parents who photograph or film their children engaging in prohibited sexual acts. In a case such as this one, involving child prostitution, the actor would likely be charged with child endangerment in the third degree, which is punishable by 3 to 5 years imprisonment.


Engaging in prostitution with a minor is also third degree crime, and the law specifies that it’s no defense if the actor mistakenly believed that the child was 18 years or older, even if his mistaken belief was reasonable.


In addition to prison time and possible fines, a person convicted of the charges raised in this news story would also be required to register as a sex offender under New Jersey’s Megan’s Law.


Sex crimes involving minors are some of the most stigmatizing offenses in criminal law, and the mere accusation that a person has committed a crime against children can be enough to destroy his family and career forever. But even if you’ve been charged with a sex crime against a child, you may have legal defenses available to you, and you should consult with an experienced sex crimes defense lawyer as soon as possible to discuss whether your charges could be reduced or even dismissed.


If you need a New Jersey Sex Crime Defense Lawyer, you can contact me, Anthony N. Palumbo, through the email form on my website www.palumbo-renaud.com or at 1-866-664-8118 for a free and confidential consultation. As a New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney with extensive experience defending people accused of sex offenses and crimes against children, I can speak to you confidently and accurately about your case, and even if you decide not to retain my services, the consultation is entirely confidential, so you can get answers to your most private questions.