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New Jersey sexual assault offenses

In New Jersey, sexual assault is taken very seriously, and whether the charge is considered to be an aggravated offense or regular sexual assault depends on several factors. A conviction for either sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault could result in long periods of imprisonment and registration on the the sex offender registry for the rest of a person's life.

Aggravated sexual assault can be charged if the alleged victim is younger than 13 years old. It can also be charged if the alleged victim is between the ages of 13 and 16 years old and the accused is a blood relative, in a position of authority over the person, a guardian or one that stands in loco parentis. Furthermore, aggravated sexual assault could be charged if the offense is committed during the commission of a violent crime, if a weapon is used or if the offender is aided or abetted by another and uses physical force or coercion. Finally, aggravated sexual assault can result if the victim is mentally incapacitated and the offender knows it.

Sexual assault may be charged if the victim is less than 13 years old and the offender is at least four years older. An act of penetration can also be charged as sexual assault if the victim is at least 16 but less than 18 years old, if the person uses force or coercion but severe injury is not sustained or if the alleged perpetrator is in a supervisory capacity over the alleged victim or stands in loco parentis.

Unfortunately, allegations of sexual assault are sometimes based on false accusations. An accused person faces long-lasting damages to their reputation and a potential lifetime of consequences. A person who is facing such charges might benefit by seeking the help of a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Source: Onecle, "New Jersey Statutes - Title 2C The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice - 2C:14-2 Sexual assault.," Accessed Feb. 3, 2015

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