The American criminal justice system seeks to carry out justice both for the victim and the offender. If the victim is not honored, or if the sentence is too severe, then justice has not been carried out. So although sex crimes are particularly heinous, justice still needs to be served. Consider the following important information from Mark. W. Catanzaro regarding sex crimes and New Jersey law.
Courts label various criminal offenses as “sex crimes.” Regarding sex crimes and New Jersey law, they fall into the following categories…
Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Definition: a violent crime that involves sexual penetration of another (with certain additional factors)
- First degree crime with 10 to 20 years in prison
- At least 85% of term must be served before eligible for release
- 25 years to life in prison if offense involves a child under the age of 13
- Definition: involves sexual penetration in which physical force or coercion is used, or in which the victim is physically or mentally incapacitated.
- Second degree crime with 5 to 10 years in prison
- If offense involves child under the age of 13 or someone 4 years younger than the victim, 85% of sentence must be served before eligible for release.
- Cases of statutory rape fall under here.
Criminal Sexual Contact
Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact
- Definition: involves sexual contact where the victim is between 13 and 16 years old, the parties have some type of familial relationship or the actor has supervisory authority, a weapon is used or threatened, more than one person is involved, force or coercion is used, severe personal injury occurs, or the victim is incapacitated.
- Third degree crime with probation or up to 5 years in prison
Criminal Sexual Contact
- Definition: involves sexual contact where the victim is under supervision or in a custodial setting and the actor has supervisory status, the victim is between 16 and 18 where the actor has some supervisory or parental status, or the victim is between 13 and 16 and the actor is more than 4 years older.
- Fourth degree crime with probation or up to 18 months in prison.
Other Sex Crimes
- Definition: exposing oneself in a sexual manner
- Fourth degree crime and disorderly persons offense
- Harsher penalties if it is reasonable to believe someone under 13 will see it, the actor is more than 4 years older, or the person seeing the act suffers from a mental disease or defect.