Essex County doctor found guilty of harassment but acquitted on sexual assault charges

Raymond Russomanno, a Bloomfield doctor charged with inappropriately touching the breasts and buttocks of several of his female patients, was found guilty in December on 12 counts of harassment but was acquitted on 2 counts of attempted sexual assault and 12 counts of criminal sexual contact. Russomanno faces up to 30 days in jail for each count of harassment, or up to 360 days total. He’s also awaiting sentencing for a 2011 conviction for 4 counts of criminal sexual contact and will be sentenced for both convictions simultaneously.

 

Although the doctor in this case was acquitted of attempted sexual assault, it’s possible that such an offense could be found in the doctor-patient context. As set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2, an actor would be guilty of the crime if he attempted to commit an act of sexual penetration in circumstances where the victim was detained in a hospital or other institution and the actor had some supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of his legal, professional, or occupational status. Proving that a patient is “detained” and subject to a doctor’s “supervisory” powers is a difficult task, and likely the reason why these charges were dismissed.

 

Criminal sexual contact is a less serious offense and generally covers inappropriate sexual touching, but some aggravating factor usually has to be in play for the offense to apply, such as the use of force or the involvement of children. For adult victims who have already consented to be examined by a doctor, even criminal sexual contact could be a difficult charge to prove, especially if the nature of the medical examination being performed called for some touching of the victim’s body. The charge could still be sustained in this type of case given enough evidence, however. Indeed, the article noted that Russomanno was convicted of criminal sexual contact in an earlier case also involving alleged sexual abuse of his patients.

 

In the end, Russomanno was convicted only for harassment, which isn’t usually considered a sex offense. Harassment, rather, is a petty disorderly persons offense that occurs when a person subjects another to striking, kicking, shoving, or other offensive touching, or threatens to do so. As the article noted, harassment is punishable by up to 30 days per count.

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.

 

A Millstone Man was Charged in a Child Prostitution Scheme after Monmouth County Police Discovered he had Engaged in Relations with a Minor

A Millstone man was arrested by Monmouth County investigators after allegedly taking part in child prostitution. The man faces charges of second-degree sexual assault and third-degree endangering the welfare of a minor in connection with having sex with the 15-year-old boy. The man was accused of having sex with the boy at his Millstone residence. He was arrested at his home by State Police, and released after posting $250,000 full bail. Because of the age of the victim, the accused in this case faces significant criminal penalties.

If convicted, the defendant would likely be forced to register under Megan’s Law as a child sex offender. In New Jersey, Megan’s law sex offender registry requires convicted sex offenders to provide information to local police about what they look like, where they live, type of car they drive and their past crimes so the police can be aware of their presence. Police then distribute this information based on the prescribed offender level of the registrant to appropriate community officials. The higher the level of offender (one through three with three being the highest tier), the more notice will be provided to the community including local school officials and potentially neighbors within a two block radius. Importantly, this information must be distributed by police according to certain procedures so as not to violate the registrant’s rights to privacy. Once on Megan’s List, it is possible to be designated a reduced tier over time through status conferences with county prosecutors. Good behavior over a prolonged period of time as well as compliance with counseling and other programs often help offenders in reducing their Megan’s Law tier designations. After a prolonged period of time, it is even possible to be removed from Megan’s Law completely.
I, Anthony N. Palumbo, a New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer, understand the workings of the law and can properly defend accused persons in sexual assault offenses as well as those who
have been convicted of solicitation of a prostitute. Visit my website, www.palumho-renaud.com for more information. I have been defending individuals against sexual assault charges, including those involving minors, in New Jersey for almost four decades. As a longstanding member of the legal community, a former prosecutor, and a current public defender, I can give you an honest assessment of the penalties you face and the best possible avenues of relief.

If you would like to discuss your case, freely and confidentially, with an experienced attorney at no obligation, contact me at 908-337-7353 for a free consultation.

Monmouth County man arrested on burglary and sexual assault charges

Matawan police recently arrested a suspect accused of sexually assaulting one woman and attempting to sexually assault another woman after breaking into their apartments. The Monmouth County man was charged with two counts of burglary and one count each of attempted sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, and criminal restraint.

 

Aggravated sexual assault is a first degree crime, punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison, and includes cases where the actor commits an act of sexual penetration and the offense is committed during the commission or attempted commission of a robbery, kidnapping, homicide, aggravated assault, burglary, arson, or criminal escape. It also constitutes aggravated sexual assault if the actor was armed with a weapon and threatened to use it against the victim or if the offender used physical force or coercion and inflicted severe personal injury on the victim.

 

Source: Matawan man faces burglary, sexual-assault charges, The Asbury Park Press

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.

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

Ocean County man arrested for exposing himself to young girls

A 38-year old Jackson Township man was arrested for allegedly exposing himself to young girls during an incident that took place in Lakewood in late August. The man was apprehended during a surveillance operation and the police believe that he may be responsible for similar incidents dating back to 2008.

 

Depending on the circumstances of this case and the age of the girls, the man could be charged with sexual assault, which includes situations where the offender intentionally touches himself for the purpose of sexual gratification and the touching is in view of a victim who is less than 13 years old. Sexual assault is a second degree crime, punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison.

 

If the man didn’t touch himself during the incident but merely exposed himself to the girls, he could still be charged with lewdness, which is defined under New Jersey law as “exposing of the genitals for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of the actor or any other person.” If the girls were under the age of 13, lewdness would be a fourth degree crime, which is punishable by up to 18 months in prison. Otherwise, it would be a disorderly persons offense, which can carry penalties of up to 6 months in prison and up to $1,000 in fines.

 

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.

 

Sexual offenses involving children are some of the most damaging offenses in criminal law, and the mere accusation that a person has committed a child sexual assault can be enough to destroy that person’s family and career forever. If you’ve been charged with a sex crime against a child, you can contact me, Anthony N. Palumbo, New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney for a free and confidential consultation through the on my website or at 1-866-664-8118. As a criminal defense lawyer with extensive experience defending people accused of sex crimes 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.

 

New Jersey Appellate Division affirms rapist’s continued civil commitment on appeal from Essex County court order

In Matter of the Civil Commitment of N.U.M., a case on appeal from an Essex County court, the New Jersey Appellate Division recently upheld the continued civil commitment of a sex offender who was initially sentenced to the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center after pleading guilty to crimes associated with the rapes of two 14 year old girls in 1983.

 

In order to be civilly committed to a sex offender treatment program or have such a sentence continued, the state has to prove that the sex offender suffers from “a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes the person likely to engage in acts of sexual violence if not confined in a secure facility for control, care and treatment.” Once an offender is sentenced to civil commitment, hearings are held annually to review whether he should remain committed. In order to merit continuation of the sentence, the state must prove by clear and convincing evidence that “the individual has serious difficulty in controlling sexually harmful behavior such that it is highly likely that he… will not control his… sexually violent behavior and will reoffend.”

 

The state’s experts testified in this case that the sex offender “suffers from a mental abnormality and personality disorder… that predispose him to engage in acts of sexual violence.” The sex offender also testified on his own behalf, but the trial judge didn’t believe his assertions that he had made up his past history of sexual assaults. The Appellate Division found these conclusions to be supported by the record and, overall, agreed that the sex offender had not sufficiently mitigated his risk of recidivism to warrant release from civil commitment.

 

As this case demonstrates, the consequences of being convicted for a sex crime can be severe and long lasting. In addition to civil commitment under the Sexually Violent Predator Act, sex offenders are often sentenced to prison time and fines, as well as the registration requirements of New Jersey’s Megan’s Law.

 

Having an attorney by your side

If you’ve been charged with a sex crime in Essex County or need assistance fighting a sexually-related civil commitment order, 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. As a former prosecutor and current defense lawyer with more than 35 years of experience, I know the best strategies for protecting your rights and I will help to guide you through this difficult process.

 

Criminal Sexual Contact in Union County

The Appellate Division ruled that a wife cannot be made to testify against her husband in a criminal sexual contact case in Union County.

In a case on appeal from Union County, the Appellate Division ruled the wife of a Springfield doctor could not be forced to testify against her husband in a case involving criminal sexual contact of a patient.

Jeanette Mauti may have attempted to conceal or tamper with evidence against her husband James Mauti when the pair was not married, but the circumstances of the case do not exempt her from protection of the spousal testimonial privilege, Judge Jose Fuentes wrote for the Appellate panel.  The spousal testimonial privilege, “which protects a spouse from testifying against his or her partner in most criminal cases,” is a reflection of the importance society places on marriage, the court wrote. Conflicts arise when attempts to pierce that privilege are made in the interest of the public good, the court said.

This ruling has considerable implications.  Even in sexual assault cases where a spouse consciously made efforts to destroy evidence that implicated her husband, that spouse cannot be forced to testify against her husband despite not being married at the time of the obstruction.  In cases of sexual assault, it is of the utmost importance that an individual seek a skilled defense attorney with knowledge of these rules as they can have a significant impact on any possible trial outcome.