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.

 

 

 

Middlesex County sex offender not entitled to new trial on Megan’s Law address registration violation

Following his conviction in 2010 for failing to verify his address and failing to register a change of address as required by Megan’s Law, a Middlesex County sex offender was deemed ineligible for a new trial last month. State v. Harcher, No. A-4841-11T4 (Oct. 1, 2013).

 

The defendant was convicted for child endangerment in 1994 and was sentenced to jail time as well as lifetime supervision under Megan’s Law. Upon his release from prison he was advised of the sex offender address registration requirements that applied under Megan’s Law and he provided his mother’s address as his residence. When he subsequently failed to verify this address, however, the police went to the property and discovered that his mother had moved away. He was then charged with failing to verify his address and failing to notify police of a change in address.

 

Before seeking a new trial, the defendant had appealed his conviction on the ground that there was insufficient proof, but the jury and the court disagreed. The defendant then commenced this litigation, claiming that he had ineffective legal counsel. His first argument was that his attorney failed to adequately investigate the existence of an unnamed police officer who allegedly told him that he did not have to register. This claim, the court found, was completely uncorroborated, and his attorney’s failure to find the mystery police officer provided no basis for a new trial. The defendant also contended that his attorney “coerced” him not to testify, but the court concluded that it was more “advice” than “coercion” and that it did not amount to inadequate legal performance.

 

For more information about defending sex offender registration violations in Middlesex County, contact me, Anthony N. Palumbo, Esq., at 908-337-7353 for a free consultation.

Ocean County man arrested for sexually assaulting two young girls

A Jackson Township man was arrested in June for sexually assaulting two girls under the age of 13. The man, who allegedly engaged in oral sex and vaginal penetration with the victims, was charged with first degree aggravated sexual assault, second degree sexual assault, and second and third degree endangering the welfare of a child.

 

Committing an act of sexual penetration with a child who is less than 13 years old constitutes first degree aggravated sexual assault and is punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison. As in this case, however, separate charges can also be brought for second degree sexual assault, which carries a penalty of 5 to 10 years in prison, and for child endangerment, which is punishable by 3 to 10 years. Additionally, convicted child sex offenders have to comply with the registration and reporting requirements of Megan’s Law.

 

New Jersey courts are tough on child sex abusers and just being accused of a sex crime can ruin your reputation and alienate you from your friends and family. You don’t have to go through this difficult process alone though–an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you to understand the legal stages ahead of you and fight to get you the lightest penalty possible. If you need a sex crimes defense attorney you can contact me, Anthony N. Palumbo, at 1-866-664-8118 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Together we’ll discuss the circumstances of your case, possible defenses, and your chances for getting the charges dropped.

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.

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.

Eight year prison sentence handed down for former Essex County teacher convicted on child porn charges

A former 7th grade teacher from Essex County who plead guilty to one count of receipt and distribution of child pornography was sentenced in August to 97 months in federal prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release. The defendant used peer-to-peer file sharing software to upload and receive illicit images and videos, including some materials depicting very young children and violent sexual abuse.

 

Internet child pornography charges can be very severe, with penalties including jail time, fines, and registration as a sex offender. Under New Jersey law, distributing and creating child pornography are both second degree crimes, carrying a penalty of 5 to 10 years for each count as well as fines as high as $250,000. The possession of child pornography, or even just knowingly viewing it, is a fourth degree crime punishable by up to 18 months in jail.

 

Internet child pornography charges almost always implicate federal as well as New Jersey law, and under federal child pornography laws, the penalty for creating, distributing, possessing, or viewing child pornography is 5 to 20 years in prison.

 

If you’ve been arrested on internet child pornography charges and need a lawyer to defend you, contact me, Anthony N. Palumbo, at 1-866-664-8118 to schedule a free initial consultation. With more than 35 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney, I can advise you of the penalties you face, possible defenses, and the best course of action to take going forward.

 

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.

 

Monmouth County man denied new trial in statutory rape case

The New Jersey Appellate Division ruled in August that a Monmouth County man who was convicted of third degree endangering the welfare of a child was not entitled to a new trial. Although the defendant argued that several comments made by the prosecutor and witnesses were prejudicial and denied him a fair trial, the court held that the trial judge alleviated any prejudice by giving appropriate instructions to the jury to disregard the statements.

 

The defendant in this case was accused of having consensual sex with a 15 year old girl, and while he lost his bid for a new trial on the charges of third degree child endangerment, he was found not guilty the charges of second degree sexual assault. Third degree endangering the welfare of a child, which carries a penalty of 3 to 5 years in prison, applies broadly to instances where a person engages in sexual activities with a child under the age of 16. Second degree sexual assault, a more serious charge usually applied to instances of non-consensual sexual penetration, is punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison.

 

If you’ve been accused of a sex crime in New Jersey, contact a lawyer immediately to discuss your case and the chances for having your charges reduced or dismissed. A skilled criminal defense lawyer will help you understand the complexities of the trial process and fight for your right to a fair trial throughout the ordeal.

If you have any questions call me at 908-272-9700 or email anplaw@yahoo.com

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.