Union County Sex Crime Lawyer – Child Porn Distribution

The Union County Prosecutor’s Office held a forum on “revenge porn” last month, drawing attention to the growing trend of school-age students sharing nude photographs of each other for malicious purposes. Although similar to “sexting,” revenge porn involves an intent on the part of the offender to embarrass or humiliate their target, who is often an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend.

 

Incidents of revenge porn can result in charges for a number of different criminal offenses. Sharing nude pictures of a minor would constitute child pornography distribution, for example, regardless of whether the offender was also a minor and regardless of whether the images were intended to be shared for pornographic purposes.

 

Representatives from the prosecutor’s office, however, stated that they try to avoid prosecution entirely for offenses committed by minors when the images are shared with only a small number of people, and even in more serious cases they limit the charges to harassment. While the penalties for child pornography crimes are quite severe—up to 10 years incarceration and up to $250,000 in fines—harassment is generally classified as a disorderly persons offenses and the penalties are limited to no more than 6 months in prison and $1,000 in fines.

 

For more information about revenge porn and other sex crimes in Union County, contact me, Anthony N. Palumbo, Esq., at 908-337-7353.

 

 

 

 

New Jersey Supreme Court throws out evidence in child sex abuse case due to violation of state wiretap law

The New Jersey Supreme Court held in July that key evidence in a child sexual abuse case had to be suppressed due to a violation of the state’s wiretap laws. The statutory procedure for obtaining prosecutorial approval before placing a wiretap had to be strictly followed, the court concluded, and any wiretap evidence collected without such prior approval would be rendered inadmissible. State v. K.W. (Jul. 11, 2013).

 

The defendant in State v. K.W. was charged with multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault and child endangerment in relation to the sexual abuse of his daughter over a two-year period. She reported the abuse when she was 13 and was referred to the Assistant Essex County Prosecutor, who proposed placing a wiretap on her mother’s phone line to gather evidence. The Assistant Prosecutor then sought approval for the wiretap from an authorized designee of the County Prosecutor, as required under the wiretap statute, and obtained an authorization from his supervisor. He was mistaken about his supervisor being an authorized designee, however, and didn’t obtain the necessary prosecutorial approval until after the wiretap had already been concluded.

 

In determining whether to suppress the wiretap evidence, the court looked to the history of the wiretap statute and the legislature’s emphasis on privacy and the need to prevent law enforcement from having unfettered discretion to spy on telephone conversations. With these concerns in mind the court found that the statute had to be strictly applied, with any deviation from the prior approval requirement resulting in suppression of the evidence. The wiretap evidence against K.W. had to be thrown own, accordingly, despite the fact that it had been collected in good faith. The prosecution could still rely on evidence collected under a search warrant for the defendant’s property, however, because it had been obtained independently of the wiretap.

 

For more information about fighting sex crimes charges in New Jersey, call the law offices of Palumbo & Renaud at 908-337-7353.

Fourth-Degree Lewdness vs. Third-Degree Child Endangerment

Under New Jersey law, a person commits lewd acts when he exposes his genitals for a sexual purpose and “he knows or reasonably suspects [that he] is likely to be observed by other non-consenting persons who would be affronted or alarmed.” Lewdness is normally a disorderly persons offense with a maximum penalty of 6 months in prison, but when lewd acts are committed in front of a child under the age of 13, the offense becomes raised to a fourth degree crime with penalty of 6-18 months in prison. N.J.S.A. 2c:14-4.

 

In addition to carrying more significant penalties than run-of-the-mill lewdness offenses, crimes that are charged as fourth degree lewdness also tend to be charged as third degree child endangerment. This offense, which carries even steeper penalties than fourth degree lewdness (3 to 5 years in prison for child endangerment, as opposed to a maximum of 18 months for lewdness) occurs when a person engages in sexual conduct “which would impair or debauch the morals of a child” under the age of 16. N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4.

 

The New Jersey Supreme Court addressed the relationship between fourth degree lewdness and third degree child endangerment in State v. Hackett, 166 N.J. 66 (2001). The case involved a man who was charged with both offenses after repeatedly standing nude in the front window of his house, in full view of several children at a school bus stop.

 

The New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed the defendant’s convictions on both counts. Although the court cautioned that a conviction for fourth degree lewdness won’t automatically sustain a conviction for third degree child endangerment, the court found that the same evidence could be used to prove both offenses, so long as the distinct elements of each crime were satisfied. Disagreeing with the lower court, which had found the defendant’s “mere nudity” insufficient to prove the child endangerment charge, the court found that the jury had a thin but sufficient basis for its guilty verdict. “This was not a case involving a child’s stolen glimpse of nudity,” the court explained, “but instead… repeated instances when the defendant allowed himself to be viewed naked, through an unobstructed window, by girls who were age thirteen and under.” Attracting the children’s attention in such a flagrant and repetitive way, the court found, could have been viewed by the jury as evidence that the defendant sought to debauch the children’s morals. As the court emphasized, the question was not whether the children’s morals were actually debauched, but whether the defendant’s actions amounted to sexual conduct that was likely to debauch the children’s morals.

 

For more information about lewdness or child endangerment charges, or to schedule a free legal consultation in your case, call me, Anthony N. Palumbo, Union County Criminal Defense Lawyer, at 908-337-7353.

 

Union County man accused of sexually assaulting incapacitated woman

Cyrus Fakroddin, a Summit resident who’s well known for walking his pet goat around New Jersey and Manhattan, is now facing less flattering publicity after being accused of sexually assaulting a physically helpless young woman. According to Union County prosecutors, Fakroddin allegedly encountered the incapacitated woman after she left a Manhattan nightclub and then transported her to his home in Summit and sexually assaulted her.

N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2 states that an actor is guilty of aggravated sexual assault if “the victim is one whom the actor knew or should have known was physically helpless, mentally incapacitated, or had a mental disease or defect which rendered the victim temporarily or permanently incapable of understanding the nature of his conduct, including, but not limited to, being incapable of providing consent.”

Aggravated sexual assault, which would seem to be the appropriate charge in this case, is classified as a first degree crime and carries penalties of 10 to 20 years in prison. Anyone who is convicted of aggravated sexual assault, moreover, must register as a sex offender for life and comply with the state’s sex offender monitoring, supervision, and reporting requirements. Additionally, under the Sexually Violent Predator Act, anyone who is convicted of aggravated sexual assault can be subject to involuntary civil commitment following completion of their criminal sentence if a court finds that they suffer from a mental abnormality of personality disorder that makes them likely to engage in acts of sexual violence if not confined in a secure facility for control and treatment.

Few other crimes in New Jersey carry such harsh and far-reaching consequences as first degree aggravated sexual assault, making it incredibly important for defendants to be represented by competent and experienced legal counsel. If you’ve been charged with aggravated sexual assault or any other sex crime in New Jersey and need help figuring out what to do next, you can contact me, Anthony N. Palumbo, New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer, at 908-337-7353. I will fight aggressively to preserve your right to be treated as innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and with more than 35 years of experience as a criminal defense lawyer, I know how to get the best results for my clients. Even if you decide not to retain my services, the initial consultation is free and confidential.

 

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 teacher arrested for sexually assaulting 14 year old girl

A middle school teacher and softball coach in Union County has been arrested for carrying on a sexual relationship with a 14 year old girl. He is being held on $400,000 bail and has been charged with two counts of first degree aggravated sexual assault, two counts of second degree sexual assault, one count of second degree luring, one count of second degree endangering the welfare of a child, one count of third degree aggravated criminal sexual contact, and one count of fourth degree criminal sexual contact.

 

Allegations of child sexual abuse are taken very seriously in New Jersey and can result in lengthy jail terms, steep fines, and lifetime inclusion on the state’s sex offender registry. Just being accused of child sexual abuse, however, can ruin a person’s reputation and destroy their family and professional relationships forever, even if they’re not guilty. Because of this, it’s vitally important that defendants facing child sex crimes charges consult with a knowledgeable attorney before speaking to police or making any deals with prosecutors. Their lawyers may be able to negotiate for reduced charges or even secure an acquittal based on constitutional violations, inadequate evidence, or procedural errors.

 

If you need an attorney to represent you against child sexual abuse accusations, 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 man arrested for role in statewide child pornography ring

An Essex County man was arrested along with more than two dozen others following a three-month investigation into a child pornography ring, NorthJersey.com reports. The suspects were charged with distribution and possession of child pornography, according to authorities.

Distributing child pornography is considered a second degree crime in New Jersey, subject to a sentence of 5 to 10 years in prison, and the possession of child pornography is a fourth degree crime, subject to a sentence of up to 18 months imprisonment. Child pornography may also be prosecuted under federal law.

In addition to imprisonment, a person convicted on child pornography charges may also be required to register as a sex offender under New Jersey’s Megan’s Law.

 

If you’ve been charged with a child pornography crime, 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. Contact me today for a free initial consultation through the email form on this website or at 1-866-664-8118, and I will carefully go through the facts of your case to make sure that all possible defenses are raised on your behalf.

Union County man indicted on sexual assault and child endangerment charges

A Plainfield man accused of sexually abusing a teenage girl has been indicted on various counts of sexual assault, child endangerment, and criminal sexual contact. The defendant allegedly assaulted the girl repeatedly over an extended period of time, took her to strip clubs in Essex, Union, and Middlesex Counties, and showed her pornographic materials.

 

Crimes against children can include a variety of different charges, as in this case. Some of the most common charges include:

– Sexual assault. Charges for sexual assault can be brought based on many different kinds of non-consensual sexual activity or child sex abuse, and may be charged as either first or second degree crimes based on the severity of the offense.

– Endangering the welfare of a child. Child endangerment, which can be charged as a first, second, third, or fourth degree offense, includes a broad range of behavior where the actor engages in prohibited sexual acts with a child under the age of 16. Child pornography, child sex abuse, and statutory rape, among other things, can all be charged as endangering the welfare of a child.

– Criminal sexual contact. “Sexual contact” is defined under New Jersey law 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 includes offenses such as touching oneself in front of a child or coercing a child to engage in sexual contacts. Depending on the severity of the circumstances, it may be graded as a third or fourth degree crime.

 

The penalties for sex crimes charges are as follows:

– First degree – 10 to 20 years

– Second degree – 5 to 10 years

– Third degree – 3 to 5 years

– Fourth degree – up to 18 months

In addition to jail time, convicted sex offenders must also comply with the registration and reporting requirements of New Jersey’s Megan’s Law.

 

Call me at 1-866-664-8118, we will discuss your questions and concerns.

 

Police on alert after attempted luring in Springfield

Springfield Patch reports that police have increased patrols following an attempted luring in a residential neighborhood. The incident involved two men in their late teens or early twenties who allegedly pulled their car up to a 9 year old boy and tried to get him to take a ride with them. The boy said no and ran away from the car, and although he wasn’t harmed, police have increased the frequency of patrols in residential areas in both marked and unmarked vehicles.

 

A person commits the crime of second degree luring if he attempts to lure or entice a child under the age of 18 into a motor vehicle, structure, or isolated area, or to meet or appear at any other place, with a purpose to commit a criminal offense (such as sexual assault) against the child. A conviction for second degree luring carries a penalty of 5 to 10 years in prison, and may also trigger sex offender registration requirements under Megan’s Law.

 

If you’ve been charged with luring or any other sex crime in New Jersey, you need a knowledgeable sex crimes defense attorney who will fight to have your charges reduced or dismissed. You can contact me, Anthony N. Palumbo, New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney, through the email form on my website, or call me at 1-866-664-8118 for a free and confidential consultation.