Sexual assault in New Jersey is considered a crime of the second degree.
An act of sexual assault does not necessarily require physical force,
but it can also include sexual acts when the person committing the act
has power over the other or sexual acts with individuals who are underage.
If a person engages in intercourse with someone under 16 years of age and
is at least four years older than the victim, they may be considered guilty
of sexual assault. Likewise, engaging in sexual activity with someone
under 18 years of age who is a blood relative could also be considered
assault. Someone could also face assault charges for engaging in sexual
activity with someone they have power over as a supervisor or a family guardian.
Charges may be increased to first degree if someone is found guilty of
aggravated sexual assault. This can take place if the victim is under
13 years of age, is under 16 years old and is a relative or someone the
individual has power over as a guardian or supervisor or is someone the
individual should have known was physically helpless or mentally incapacitated.
If the act is committed during the commission of another crime such as
robbery or kidnapping, or if the individual was armed, it could also be
considered aggravated assault.
Someone who has been charged with
sexual assault or other sex crimes may wish to seek the assistance of a criminal defense
lawyer. A lawyer may be able to help form a defense against the charges
or negotiate for lighter sentencing.
Source: Womenslaw.org , "Chapter 14. Sexual Offenses", October 02, 2014