Recent changes to New Jersey’s child sexual abuse and child pornography laws

A bill recently enacted makes significant changes to New Jersey’s child sexual abuse and child pornography laws. The new provisions clarify the law, update it to apply to a broader range of technologies, and expand the penalties for child sexual abuse and exploitation, bringing it more into line with federal law.

 

Key provisions in the new law include the following:

  • Minors up to the age of 18 are now protected from sexual abuse and exploitation under the child endangerment statute. Previously, the statute only protected minors up to the age of 16.
  • Updated definitions and terminology have been incorporated into the child sexual abuse and child pornography statutes to better address digital technology and to prevent offenders from using new technology to exploit loopholes in the law.
  • The legislation expands the scope of criminal liability for child pornography possession, distribution, and production offenses. Some offenses have been upgraded and subject to harsher penalties, while other offenses are now subject to mandatory minimum sentences.
  • The law also adds a provision to Megan’s Law authorizing special lifetime parole supervision for child pornography offenders, and it makes these offenses ineligible for expungement.

 

For more information about child sexual assault and child pornography offenses in New Jersey, contact the Law Offices of Palumbo & Renaud at 908-337-7353 and ask to schedule a free legal consultation. Sex Crime attorney Anthony N. Palumbo serves clients facing all types of criminal charges, primarily in Essex County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Ocean County, and Union County. Call today and find out how Mr. Palumbo can help you with your charges.

 

 

 

Union County man arrested for child sexual abuse

As NJ.com reports, a man trying to flee the country was recently arrested in Union County and charged with sexually abusing two young children. Officials have learned the first names of two additional victims and are currently trying to identify them.

 

Under the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice, committing an act of sexual penetration with a victim who is less than 13 years old is classified as first degree aggravated sexual assault and is punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison. Committing other types of sexual contact with a victim under 13 years old can be separately charged as a second degree sexual assault, which carries penalties of 5 to 10 years in prison. Charges for endangering the welfare of a child are also common in child sex abuse cases.

 

In addition to these penalties, convicted child sex offenders must also register as sex offenders under New Jersey’s Megan’s Law. This can be one of the most difficult parts of a child sex abuse case because registration is very public and can continue after prison or even permanently, severely damaging offenders’ reputations and making it difficult for them to obtain housing and employment.

 

If you’ve been charged with child sexual abuse in Union County or anywhere else in New Jersey, you need a knowledgeable and skilled sex crimes defense attorney who will fight to have your charges dismissed or downgraded. Being accused of a child sex crime can have serious consequences, and even if you’re innocent, the mere accusation can cost you your professional and personal reputation. If you need assistance in defending yourself against sexual assault charges, contact me, Anthony N. Palumbo, New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney, through the email form on my website or at 1-866-664-8118 for a free and confidential consultation.

 

More information about crimes against children on my website:

  • Endangering the Welfare of Children
  • Child Pornography
  • Child Pornography Charges
  • Child Molestation
  • Child Molestation by Family Members or Friends
  • Child Sexual Assault

 

Sex offender conviction and sentence upheld by New Jersey appeals court

In State v. Rocero, decided in March, the New Jersey Appellate Division upheld the conviction and sentence issued in a Middlesex County child sexual abuse case. The defendant was accused of sexually abusing his girlfriend’s niece. He was found guilty on the charges of second degree sexual assault and second degree child endangerment, resulting in a 7 year sentence with an 85% period of parole ineligibility for the first charge, and a concurrent 7 year sentence for the second charge.

 

On appeal, the defendant first contended that testimony given by one of the victim’s friends was inadmissible and overly prejudicial. In particular, the witness testified that the victim confided to her that she had been abused after learning about sexual abuse in school, and that on a later occasion she complained about the abuse while they were watching a soap opera that depicted similar events. Rejecting the defendant’s arguments, the court found that the testimony was admissible as “fresh complaint evidence” because the victim’s statements were made to someone she would ordinarily turn to for support and because they were spontaneous and voluntary.

 

The defendant’s second argument was that his 7 year sentence was excessive, but the court rejected it as well. As the court explained, the judge properly found as aggravating factors the gravity and seriousness of harm, the risk that he would commit another offense, the defendant’s abuse of a position of trust, and the need to deter others from violating the law. In mitigation, the judge acknowledged the defendant’s lack of a criminal record and the likelihood that he would respond well to probationary treatment. The judge’s consideration of both aggravating and mitigating factors was proper, the court found, and there was no basis for interfering with the sentence.

 

If you need assistance in defending yourself against child sex abuse charges, contact me, Anthony N. Palumbo, New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney, through the email form on my website or at 1-866-664-8118 for a free and confidential consultation. I will represent your interests aggressively and help to guide you through this difficult process, and with more than 35 years of experience as a prosecutor, public defender, and criminal defense lawyer, I know the tricks and tactics that the other side uses and the best strategies for protecting your rights.

 


Monmouth County man charged with sexually assaulting two girls

A Monmouth County man was arrested this week and charged with sexually assaulting two young girls, according to a report in the Asbury Park Press. He was also charged with child endangerment and is being held on $350,000 bail.

 

Under New Jersey law, sexually assaulting a child who is less than 13 years old qualifies as second degree child sexual assault, an offense punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison, unless the actor commits an act of sexual penetration with the child, in which case the charge is upgraded to first degree aggravated sexual assault and is punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison.

 

The crime 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, among other things. The severity of child endangerment charges varies depending on the underlying offense, ranging from fourth degree criminal charges for viewing child pornography to first degree criminal charges for parents who film their children engaging in prohibited sexual acts.

 

If you’ve been charged with child sexual assault or child endangerment, I urge you to seek legal advice immediately. My name is Anthony N. Palumbo, and I am a New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney with more than 35 years of experience as prosecutor, public defender, and criminal defense lawyer. Contact me today for a free initial consultation through the email form on this website or at 1-866-664-8118. Whatever the seriousness of your charges, I will defend your right to be treated as innocent until proven guilty, I will press every available legal defense, and I will fight to protect your rights throughout the entire judicial process.

 

New Jersey Juvenile found guilty of burglary and sexual assault, despite previous friendship with victim

A New Jersey appellate court recently upheld the conviction of a juvenile for acts which would have constituted third degree burglary and second degree sexual assault if he were an adult. He was sentenced to three years of probation, with a suspended sentence of three years at a juvenile training school. The case, State ex. Rel. T.W., can be viewed here.

 

The juvenile, T.W., was accused of climbing through a girl’s window and having sexual intercourse with her while she was sleeping. The girl, M.M., was 16 years old, and had known T.W. for a long time. Before that night, she had considered him a friend, and he frequently spent time at the house, sometimes even sleeping there. Just after M.M. woke up and found T.W. in her room, her cousin and three other acquaintances arrived, and she told them what had happened. The commotion woke up M.M.’s mother, B.B., who then questioned T.W. about what had occurred. B.B. claimed that T.W. admitted to her that he climbed through M.M.’s window and “did it to her.”

 

To sustain a charge of third degree burglary, the state has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the actor entered a structure that he was not permitted to enter, and that he did so with the intent to commit an offense. N.J.S.A. § 2C:18-2. For a charge of second degree sexual assault, the state has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the actor engaged in sexual penetration without the victim’s freely given consent.  N.J.S.A. § 2C:14-2.

 

On appeal from his conviction, T.W. claimed that he was allowed to enter M.M.’s house without her permission, based on prior occasions when he had done so, and he emphasized that the state had presented no physical or forensic evidence to support the allegation of sexual assault. But the court ruled that these arguments were insufficient, and concluded that the evidence proved the elements of burglary and sexual assault beyond a reasonable doubt. Accordingly, the court affirmed the adjudication of delinquency.

 

It is very important to hire a juvenile interrogation rights attorney because getting in trouble as a juvenile is a scary ordeal, and if the charge isn’t handled properly, it can leave a harrowing mark on a young person’s future. If your child has been accused of a juvenile offense, you can contact me, Anthony N. Palumbo, New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney  at 1-866-664-8118 for a free consultation. With more than 35 years of experience, I have successfully tried hundreds of juvenile court cases both as a county prosecutor and as a private defense attorney. I can help you to understand the charges that your child faces, and I can give you an honest assessment of the possible penalties and consequences.  And even if you decide not to retain my services, the consultation is entirely confidential, so you can get answers to important questions about what’s ahead for your child. Contact me today at 1-866-664-8118 and get the results you need to get your child’s life back on track.

Monmouth County man indicted on child sexual assault charges

A grand jury recently indicted a Holmdel Township man on four counts of child sexual abuse. In addition to two charges of second degree sexual assault, which were based on alleged sexual contacts with a girl under the age of 13, the defendant was also charged with second degree  child endangerment and fourth degree lewdness.

 

Under the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice, “sexual contact” is defined as “an intentional touching by the victim or actor, either directly or through clothing, of the victim’s or actor’s intimate parts for the purpose of degrading or humiliating the victim or sexually arousing or sexually gratifying the actor.” When the victim is less than 13 years old and the actor is at least four years older than the victim, sexual contact qualifies as second degree sexual assault and is punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison. N.J.S.A. §§ 2C:14-1, 2C:14-2.

 

Second degree child endangerment is also punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison. The crime can be committed when a person who has a legal duty to care for a child engages in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child. Second degree child endangerment also includes certain offenses relating to the production and distribution of child pornography. N.J.S.A. § 2C:24-4.

 

Fourth degree lewdness, also called “indecent exposure,” occurs when a person exposes his intimate parts for the purpose of arousing or gratifying his own sexual desire or that of anyone else when he knows or reasonably expects that he will be observed by a child who is less than 13 years old and where he is at least four years older than the child. The crime is punishable by up to 18 months in prison. N.J.S.A. § 2C:14-4.

 

In addition to these penalties, a person who is convicted of a child sexual abuse crime will also be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law. N.J.S.A. § 2C:7-2.

 

If you’ve been charged with child sexual assault in Monmouth County or anywhere else in New Jersey, you need a knowledgeable and skilled child sex abuse defense attorney who will fight to have your charges reduced or dismissed. You can contact me, Anthony N. Palumbo New Jersey Sex Crime Attorney, through the email form on my website, or call me at 1-866-664-8118 for a free and confidential consultation. As a former prosecutor and public defender with more than 35 years of experience, I know the tricks and tactics that the other side uses and the best strategies for protecting your rights. I will represent your interests aggressively and help to guide you through this difficult process.

 

 

Oral Sex Results in New Jersey Sexual Assault Charges

New Jersey Sex Crime Attorney – Anthony N. Palumbo

A New Providence man was charged with sexual assault after performing oral sex multiple times on an eleven year old girl.  Detectives of the Long Hill police department found that the man had been assaulting the girl for years.  The man admitted to knowing the activity was wrong and against her welfare.  The man had told the girl to keep quiet about their conduct.  After confessing to the police, he wrote a letter to the girl apologizing for what he’d done.  He was charged with aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

In order to be charged with aggravated sexual assault, a person must commit an act of sexual penetration with the victim.  This case is a good example of the broad definition of ‘sexual penetration’ under the law.  In order to commit sexual penetration, a person does not have to engage in intercourse. If an object penetrates the private area of the victim, it will suffice for sexual penetration.  Even the slightest intrusion counts as penetration.  In this case, the act was oral sex.  The penetration inherent in the act is sufficient to constitute sexual penetration and result in charges of sexual assault.

My name is Anthony N. Palumbo, New Jersey sex crime defense attorney and I defend individuals charged with sexual assault in New Jersey.  If you or a loved one has been indicted for a sex crime, it is imperative to have a strong defense lawyer on your side, visit my website www.palumbo-renaud.com. 

Sexual Assault Trial in Union County & Taking the Stand

A recent Union County sexual assault case provides a good example of why clients should listen to their criminal defense attorneys when they tell them not to testify at trial. In a recent the New Jersey sexual assault case, the defendant was convicted and sentenced to the maximum prison term after sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl, even though the victim’s mother expressed in court that she empathized with the defendant. The convict was a 31-year-old man who suffered from a brain injury when he was 18-years-old and as a result never mentally departed from his teenage years. At trial he gave a speech, against the request of his attorney, in which he apologized to the victim and explained that he felt more like a teenager than an adult. The victim’s mother, a teacher who works with children suffering from brain injuries also spoke in court and explained that she understood his point of view, but that what he did was wrong. Despite the fact that the speech shed light on the defendant’s intention and drew sympathy and tears from those present, it was also noted by those at the trial that the speech was disturbing and gave the overall message that the defendant would continue sexually assaulting young girls. The judge ultimately convicted him to the absolute maximum sentence.

Although defendants often want to tell their story at trial, there are many reasons why this may be a bad idea, even if the defendant is truly innocent. While a jury may be instructed to only take note of certain things this is virtually impossible. Juries are combined not just of people, but of all the experiences and prejudices that have accumulated throughout their lives. Every little detail of the defendant’s decorum can affect the outcome of a case and sometimes it is better for the defendant to dress appropriately and say nothing. An attorney with a lot of experience may be aware that his client will look suspect if he speaks to the jury for countless reasons that have never even been contemplated by the defendant. These reasons can often only be learned through a life time of practicing law and this is one of many reasons why it is important to pick an experienced attorney and listen carefully to his advice. My name is Anthony N. Palumbo, New Jersey sex crime defense attorney and I have more than 35 years of criminal trial experience. For more information on sex crimes and criminal process in New Jersey, contact me at 1-886-664-8118 or visit my website at www.palumbo-renaud.com or www.newjerseysexcrimeattorney.com.

Charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault in Monroe Township

Bail has been set at $250,000 for a Monroe Township man arrested on multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault for his alleged sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl. The 39-year-old defendant was arrested on Friday after various incidents of sexual penetration were brought to the police’s attention. The investigation is still under way as police try to piece together all the facts in yet another case of aggravated sexual assault in New Jersey. A charge of aggravated sexual assault can carry an additional 15 years in prison when compared to possible penalties for a charge of sexual assault. While both sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault require an act of sexual penetration, aggravated sexual assault will only be charged if the victim is under 13 years old or under 16-years-old and has a special relationship with the accused, for example, a blood relationship, disciplinary or supervisory relationship, or the accused stands in a guardian type position to the victim. My name is Anthony N. Palumbo, New Jersey Sex Crime Attorney and I have defended countless clients against charges of aggravated sexual assault. I always make sure that everything possible is done to protect the rights and reputation of my clients and not just in the courtroom, but in the workplace, living community and within the family home. If you have been charged with aggravated sexual assault in New Jersey, I know that you are going through an indescribable experience. Contact me today at 1-866-664-8118 for a Free and Confidential Consultation where you can discuss your situation with an experienced attorney who has spent over 35 years helping people through these difficult times. For more information about sex crimes in New Jersey visit my website at www.palumbo-renaud.com.