Rape and other Sex Crimes

Almost any sex crime or sexual offense is serious. One of the major penalties associated with a sex crime conviction is the sex offender registration, which is a penalty which may be imposed for life. This may mean that an individual will not be able to obtain certain professional licenses, work in particular areas or even live or go near a school or playground. The affect a sex crime conviction has upon a person’s reputation and personal and professional relationships is also extreme.

A sex crime may be defined as a sex act that is considered deviant in nature, the exchange of sexual activity for money, or a forced/non-consensual sexual act. The following acts may be considered sex offenses:

The State of New Jersey legally defines Rape or Sexual Assault as “the penetration, no matter how slight, in which physical force or coercion is used or in which the victim is physically or mentally incapacitated”. For the full definition of sexual assault please refer to NJSA 2C:14-1.

The law in New Jersey, which is gender neutral, does not specify male or female, but uses the words “actor” and “victim” to describe the persons involved.

  • Consent: According to New Jersey law, age, physical impairment and mental impairment all contribute to a person’s ability to give consent. A person must be 16 years of age to legally consent to sexual activity. A person cannot give consent to sexual activity with someone who has “the duty to care” for them unless they are over the age of 18. Individuals that fall into “the duty to care” category would include parents or guardians, and those in any type of formal supervisory role. If individuals are between the ages of 13 and 15 they can legally consent to sexual activity with a partner who is not more than 4 years older then themselves.
  • An individual who is physically or mentally impaired, generally, cannot give consent to sexual activity. Physical or mental impairment includes: visual, speech or hearing impaired, a person with a cognitive impairment; a person who is unconscious or sleeping; or a person who is voluntarily or involuntarily under the influence of alcohol or other substance(s).

Criminal Sexual Contact is legally defined as “intentional, non-consensual touching by the victim or actor, either directly or through clothing, of a victim’s or actor’s sexual organs, genital area, anal area, inner thigh, groin, buttock or breast, for the purpose of degrading or humiliating the victim or sexually arousing or sexually gratifying the actor,” (NJSA 2C:14-3).

Sexual Violence can happen to anyone regardless of employment or educational level, race or ethnic background, religion, marital status, physical ability, age or sexual orientation.

There are different types of rape, including statutory rape, spousal rape and date rape. This is one of the most serious sex crimes a person may be accused of committing.

Sexual Abuse
Though the legal definition will vary depending on the jurisdiction, sexual abuse may be defined as any form of non-consensual contact of a sexual nature. Improper touching, molestation and forced sexual intercourse may fall under this category.

Sexual Battery
Battery is described as unlawful physical contact. When this contact is of a sexual nature, it may be considered sexual battery. According to common law, simple battery, is the intentional touching or hitting of another person against his or her will. Sexual battery therefore involves the touching of another person in a sexual manner, when this contact is unwanted or when the victim cannot physically or mentally give consent.

Indecent Exposure
Intentionally exposing oneself in public.

Child Molestation
A sex offense that may involve a range of indecent sexual conduct involving a child. This usually involves an adult and a child under the age of 14, though specific jurisdictions will have varying interpretations of the definition of molestation.

Child Pornography
It is illegal to possess, produce or distribute any form of pornographic material depicting minors (individuals under the age of 18). A defendant may face state or federal charges for this type of sex crime.

Internet Sex Crimes
Today, more and more crimes involve the internet and computers. Internet sex crimes may include child pornography, luring a minor and committing other sexual offenses on or over the internet.

The act of receiving money in exchange for sexual acts.

Please contact the Law Offices of Douglas C. Anton, Esq. for a case evaluation and to schedule an appointment.

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