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New Jersey man loses bail argument

He's held in a county jail about 50 miles west of Bergen County after a New Jersey Superior Court judge said his record, aliases and multiple IDs were reasons to deny him a reduction in bail.

The 31-year-old was taken into custody by law enforcement officials for failing to register as a sex offender under Megan's Law.

According to the New Jersey sex offender registry, he was convicted of sexual assault at knifepoint of a girl under 18 years of age.

The Lehigh Valley Express-Times reported that the man appeared in court late last week in a blue jail jumpsuit after giving himself up following an hour-long standoff in Phillipsburg with law enforcement.

In court, the man's attorney argued that bail should be reduced to $50,000 with a 10 percent option, down from the original $75,000. The man has extensive family in Trenton and would not pose a risk to flee, the lawyer said.

The assistant county prosecutor presented a counterargument that the list of charges against the man contains serious allegations regarding firearms offenses, possession of illegal drugs, failing to notify authorities of a change in address and failure to register as a sex offender.

Police officers say they found in the apartment where the man was staying a loaded shotgun.

The prosecutor claimed the man confessed to owning the sawed-off weapon. She said he also has two Social Security numbers and multiple aliases that would enable him to flee if he was so inclined.

As things turned out, the judge sided with the prosecutor.

The various charges the man must address are indeed serious. He faces a potentially long stay in prison, if convicted.

It shows once again how long a sex crime conviction can haunt a person and lead to grave repercussions even if a person never committs another sex offense.

Source: "Aliases, convictions keep judge from reducing bail for man arrested in Phillipsburg standoff" by Sarah M. Wojcik: May 20, 2011