Union County police sergeant indicted on sexual assault charges

A Plainfield police sergeant with 12 years on the force was recently indicted on one count of second degree official misconduct and one count of fourth degree criminal sexual contact for sexually assaulting a woman while on duty. The Union County Prosecutor’s Office alleges that he coerced the woman to perform sexual acts on herself while he sexually gratified himself.

 

“Sexual contact” is defined under the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice 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.” Criminal sexual contact is a fourth degree crime and is punishable by up to 18 months in prison under circumstances where the actor uses physical force or coercion but does not cause any severe personal injuries to the victim. More serious sexual offenses can be charged as third degree criminal sexual contact or as first or second degree sexual assault.

 

If you’ve been charged with a sex crime in New Jersey, it’s important to contact a defense attorney as soon as possible, and if you need an attorney, you can contact me, Anthony N. Palumbo. As a partner at the law firm of Palumbo & Renaud, I have more than 35 years of experience and I know the best tactics and strategies to win your case or negotiate a favorable plea bargain. Send me an email or call me at 1-866-664-8118 to set up a free and confidential consultation.

Union County police sergeant indicted on sexual assault charges

A Plainfield police sergeant with 12 years on the force was recently indicted on one count of second degree official misconduct and one count of fourth degree criminal sexual contact for sexually assaulting a woman while on duty. The Union County Prosecutor’s Office alleges that he coerced the woman to perform sexual acts on herself while he sexually gratified himself.

 

“Sexual contact” is defined under the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice 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.” Criminal sexual contact is a fourth degree crime and is punishable by up to 18 months in prison under circumstances where the actor uses physical force or coercion but does not cause any severe personal injuries to the victim. More serious sexual offenses can be charged as third degree criminal sexual contact or as first or second degree sexual assault.

 

If you’ve been charged with a sex crime in New Jersey, it’s important to contact a defense attorney as soon as possible. Contact me, Anthony N. Palumbo a leading New Jersey Sex Crime Attorney. As a partner at the law firm of Palumbo & Renaud, I have more than 35 years of experience and I know the best tactics and strategies to win your case or negotiate a favorable plea bargain. Send me an email or call me at 908-337-7353 to set up a free and confidential consultation.

Essex County court finds no Sixth Amendment right to self-representation in commitment proceedings under the Sexually Violent Predator Act

The Superior Court of New Jersey, Essex County, ruled in June that there is no constitutional right to self-representation in commitment hearings held pursuant to the Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA). The case, In re Civil Commitment of D.Y.., involved a 52 year old man who was committed as a sexually violent predator after serving time for first degree aggravated sexual assault.

 

The SVPA provides for the involuntary commitment of any person “who has been convicted… of a sexually violent offense… and suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes the person likely to engage in acts of sexual violence if not confined to a secure facility for control, care and treatment.” Involuntary commitment requires the state to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the individual poses a threat to the health and safety of others. In this case, the trial court ruled that the prosecution met this standard based on the defendant’s long history of repeated pedophiliac sexual assaults and expert testimony establishing that he was sexually attracted to young males and had anti-social personality disorder. The defendant’s high risk of reoffending was also indicated by his longstanding resistance to treatment and his denial of sexual deviation.

 

At the defendant’s commitment hearing, his lawyer informed the court that he wished to represent himself. The trial court denied this request, however, because of a provision in the statute requiring defendants to be represented by legal counsel. The defendant argued on appeal that this violated his Sixth Amendment right to self-representation, but the Superior Court disagreed. As the court explained, the right to self-representation applies only to criminal prosecutions and does not extend to civil actions such as commitment proceedings brought under the SVPA.

 

Even though defendants have the right to represent themselves in criminal proceedings for sex crimes and other offenses, having an attorney is invaluable and can mean the difference between conviction and acquittal. If you’ve been charged with a sexual offense in New Jersey and need a defense attorney to represent you, contact the law firm of Palumbo & Renaud to arrange a free and confidential consultation.

 

New allegations against Middlesex County man charged with child sexual assault

A Middlesex County man already facing sexual assault charges involving four people has now been accused of sexually assaulting two more children, NJ.com reports. In addition to charges for sexual assault, he is also being charged with endangering the welfare of children for showing them pornographic materials.

 

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.

 

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

Newark softball coach accused of sexually assaulting 15 year old girl in Middlesex County

A 20 year old Newark woman who served as a softball coach in Middlesex County has been accused of sexually assaulting a 15 year girl on her team. According to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the woman was charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault and two counts of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

 

Aggravated sexual assault is a first degree crime and occurs when the offender commits an act of sexual penetration when, as in this case, the victim is between the ages of 13 and 16 years old and the offender has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim. As a first degree crime, aggravated sexual assault is punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison, and a person who’s convicted of aggravated sexual assault must also register for life as a sex offender under Megan’s Law.

 

Sexual assault and child endangerment, although less serious offenses, still carry heavy penalties. Charges for sexual assault can be brought based on many different kinds of non-consensual sexual contact and are usually graded as a second degree crime, which is punishable by 5 to 10 years imprisonment. The offense of endangering the welfare of a child applies when an actor engages in prohibited sexual acts with a child under the age of 16. It’s usually considered a second or third degree crime, depending on the severity of the crime, carrying penalties of 3 to 10 years.

 

Have an attorney by your side

If you or someone you love has been charged with a child sexual assault crime, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to guide you through the difficult process ahead and ensure that your rights are protected.

Call me at 908-337-7353, I will answer any questions you may have.

New Jersey Supreme Court applies Rape Shield Law to bar “vague allegations” regarding rape victim’s past sexual conduct

The New Jersey Supreme Court applied the state’s Rape Shield Law in a recent case and held, as in previous cases, that vague allegations regarding a rape victim’s past sexual conduct are inadmissible at trial.

 

New Jersey’s Rape Shield Law restricts the ability of defendants in sex crimes trials to introduce evidence of the victim’s past sexual conduct and provides detailed procedures that the defendant must follow if he wishes to receive permission to introduce such evidence. Although intended to protect the privacy of rape victims and prevent unwarranted attacks on their moral character, the Rape Shield Law poses a competing threat to the defendant’s constitutional right to confront the person accusing him. Because of this, the courts conduct a highly sensitive balancing process comparing the relevance of the proffered evidence, its necessity to the defense, and its apparent veracity against the potential to humiliate the victim, invade her privacy, and confuse the jury.

 

In the case before the New Jersey Supreme Court, the defendant was found guilty of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a minor. The DNA evidence collected from the victim was insufficient to conduct a complete DNA analysis, but testing did not exclude the defendant. He sought to introduce evidence that another male was the source of the DNA, based on testimony about the victim’s past sexual encounters, but he was unable to produce specific names or the dates when those alleged encounters occurred.

 

This evidence, the court held, amounted to nothing more than the vague allegations and was barred by the Rape Shield Law. As the court explained, any evidence of the victim’s sexual history was irrelevant to the issue of the defendant’s guilt unless the evidence showed that the victim had sex with another man between the time of the alleged assault and the time when her rape kit was taken. The court also found that the evidence had little probative value because there was no clear proof that the alleged prior sexual conduct actually occurred and because the defendant was able to introduce expert testimony regarding the limited nature of the DNA evidence.

 

To learn more about sex crimes in New Jersey, visit www.palumbo-renaud.com/Sex-Offenses.

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.

 


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, on my website www.palumbo-renaud.com or at 1-866-664-8118 for a free and confidential consultation.

 


Woman arrested for prostitution at Monmouth County motel

An Asbury Park woman was arrested for prostitution at a Monmouth County motel, according to an article in the Asbury Park Press. The woman, who has several other outstanding warrants, was taken into custody at the Monmouth County Jail after failing to post bail.

 

Prostitution is defined in New Jersey as “sexual activity with another person in exchange for something of economic value, or the offer or acceptance of an offer to engage in sexual activity in exchange for something of economic value.” Soliciting someone to engage in prostitution is generally a fourth degree crime, punishable by up to 18 months in prison, but soliciting a person under the age of 18 is a third degree crime and carries a penalty of 3 to 5 years in prison.

 

If you’ve been charged with a sex crime in Monmouth County or anywhere else in New Jersey, you need an experienced defense lawyer who will press every legal advantage and fight for your rights throughout the entire judicial process. Don’t wait until it’s too late to fight your charges—consult with an attorney as soon as possible. I am Anthony N. Palumbo, New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney, and to learn what I can do to eliminate your charges or reduce your fines, contact me for a free and confidential consultation through the email form on my website or at 1-866-664-8118.