An individual may be charged with aggravated criminal sexual contact under N.J.S. 2C:14-3 if they touch the intimate parts of someone under certain circumstances. Our firm, the Law Offices of Marshall, Bonus, Proetta & Oliver is a team of former prosecutors and highly experienced defense attorneys with decades of success defending aggravated criminal sexual contact charges at the Essex County Superior Court, Newark NJ. If you or a loved one is under investigation or has already been arrested or indicted for aggravated criminal sexual contact, luring, endangering the welfare of a child, sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault, we are prepared to fight on your behalf so that the very best outcome can be reached in your case. If you would like to schedule a free consultation today, please contact our Essex County office at 973.733.2204.
Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact Charges in NJ?
What Touching Constitutes “Sexual Contact”
The term sexual contact is defined under New Jersey Law at N.J.S. 2C:14-1(d). In this regard, sexual contact is the intentional touching (e.g. groping) of someone’s intimate parts for the purpose of sexual gratification of the accused or to degrade/humiliate the victim. Intimate parts include breasts, genitals, anal area, inner thigh and groin.
When Does Sexual Contact Become “Aggravated”
In accordance with N.J.S. 2C:14-3, aggravated criminal sexual contact arises where one of the circumstances set forth in N.J.S. 2C:14-2(a)(2)-(7) exist. More specifically, a sexual contact or touching will result in a 2C:14-3 violation where:
- The victim is at least thirteen (13) but less than sixteen (16) and is related by blood, under the supervision or disciplinary power, or is the guardian or being cared for by the accused;
- The touching took place while the defendant was committing a robbery, kidnapping, homicide, burglary, arson, criminal escape or aggravated assault;
- The defendant used or threatened to use a weapon against the victim;
- The defendant used force or coercion while accompanied by one or more;
- The defendant used force or coercion and the victim sustains severe personal injury; or
- The defendant touched the victim when he/she knew or reasonably should have known the victim was incapable of understanding the nature of the conduct, including being able to competently provide consent.
Is Consent A Defense to Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact?
Consent is not a defense where the sexual contact involves a victim falling within (1) or (6) above. This defense applies when the victim consents to the contact or touching and is not a minor or someone incapacitated (i.e. falls within 2 through 5 above).
How Long Does The State Have To Bring Charges?
A prosecution for aggravated criminal sexual contact must be commenced within five (5) years of the commission of the offense except where the victim is a minor. Where a minor is involved, the statute of limitations expires five (5) year period after victim’s eighteenth (18th) birthday or two (2) years following the offense, whichever is later.
What Are The Penalties For Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact?
There is a maximum fine of $15,000 and prison term of five (5) years that applies. A sentence for aggravated criminal sexual contact also typically includes a restraining order preventing the accused from having any contact with the victim.
Does Megan’s Law Attach To This Offense?
If you are convicted of touching someone in violation of N.J.S. 2C:14-2, the mandatory sex offender registration required under Megan’s Law applies. It is therefore imperative that you obtain a dismissal or downgrade to avoid registration.
South Orange Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact Attorney
It is probably very apparent to you from reviewing this article that the consequences of a conviction for aggravated criminal sexual contact offense are extreme. Our Newark NJ Sex Offense Defense Attorneys are sensitive to what is at stake and are prepared to battle on your behalf. Give us a call for the assistance you deserve.