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Man who met Bergen County girl online faces sexual assault charges

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.

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