Our society is becoming increasingly more technological. Love it or hate
it, technology has changed our lives. The proliferation of the internet
and social media sites has made it easier than ever for young and old
alike to reconnect with forgotten friends and meet new people. Bergen
County residents are urged to be extremely careful how they use the internet,
however. What may seem like an innocent encounter can actually lead to
criminal charges for online solicitation,
sexual assault or possibly even rape.
A man was recently charged for sexual assault of a 15-year-old Bergen County
girl and is being held on $75,000 bail. The man, who is 21, met her online
in a chat room. They arranged to meet in Northvale earlier this month
and allegedly engaged in sexual activity upon doing so. Police witnessed
the two together and arrested the man. The girl claims that the man told
her he was younger than he actually is.
According to New Jersey law, it does not matter if sexual activity with
a minor is consensual or not; the act is considered sexual assault. Nor
does it matter if one or both parties misrepresents their age. The laws
surrounding statutory rape and sexual assault are very strict and carry
severe penalties. There are ways to minimize the long-term consequences
of such accusations, possibly even getting the charges dropped. Those
who are charged with sex crimes involving minors could benefit from speaking
with a criminal defense attorney before entering a plea for the alleged crimes.
Source: PressofAtlanticCity.com, “Atlantic City man charged with sexual assault in Bergen County after alleged
encounter with a minor,” Anjalee Khemlan, August 19, 2013.