Being charged with a sex crime can have devastating effects on one’s
professional and personal life. Even if the charges are later dropped,
there are still lasting consequences. The social stigma of accusations of
rapecan prevent one from dating, obtaining employment or even finding housing.
In the age of technology, anyone can complete a quick background check
and learn of any prior arrests. But rape isn’t always a violent
crime—even consensual sexual activity can lead to sexual assault
charges in New Jersey depending on the age of those involved.
A 21-year-old man is currently in Bergen County Jail for having a sexual
relationship with a 15-year old girl. It is unknown if the relationship
was ongoing or if it was a single incident. He is charged with sexual
assault because of the age of the alleged victim; it is against the law
in New Jersey for a person between the ages of 13 and 16 to have intercourse
with someone four years older than they are. The teenage girl’s
parents contacted authorities upon learning of the sexual relationship.
The New Jersey laws surrounding statutory rape are very strict. It does
not matter if the act in question was consensual, nor does it matter if
the underage participant misrepresented their age; neither is considered
a valid defense. There are ways to minimize the consequences of being
charged with sex crimes, however. Those who have been accused of such
crimes may want to speak with an experienced attorney to evaluate their
options before they enter a plea for the charges.
Source: Source: Cliff View Pilot, “Moonachie man, 21, had sex with girl, 15, authorities charge,” Jerry DeMarco, June 3, 2013.