Thursday, November 7, 2013

Does anyone know that in New Jersey the Age of Consent for All Sexual Offenses Has Increased to 18-Years of Age?

This Legal Public Service Blog Service Blog as Been Provided by the Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq., Elizabeth, N.J.

On August 14, 2013 Governor Chris Christie signed a new child pornography law which defines a child as anyone under 18-years of age.  Previous to this new law a child (minor) was defined as anyone under the age of 16-years.  Now withe the new law a minor is defined as anyone under 18-years of age.  Therefore, anyone having sexual contact with a person under 18-years of age, including all endangering crimes is guilty of a crime.

Not only has the age of consent been increased by two-years, anyone convicted of such offenses are subject to the “No Early Release Act”, and must serve 85% percent of their sentence before they are eligible for parole.  The new law can be found at

The new law provides some of the following changes:
  • Mandatory minimum prison sentences for anyone convicted of distributing at least 25 images of child pornography, with a first-time offender serving at least five years, and subsequent offenders up to 10 years.
  • No early release sentencing for anyone convicted of engaging a child in pornography, to wit, must serve t 85 percent of their prison term (No Early Release Act).
  • Removes any ambiguity with current law that is any sharing child pornography via computer file-sharing or peer-to-peer software is considered distribution rather than possession.
  • It is now a 1st degree crime for non-parents and guardians to engage a child in pornography. It already applies in that way to parents.
  • Strict liability for watching pornography in which the actor is less than 18-years of age, regardless of the watchers knowledge of his or her age.  If the actor in the movie is under 18-years of age, and you watch it, you are guilty of viewing child pornography, even if the actor looks 35-years of age.
Now under this new law any person under the age of 18 commits a crime for engaging in a sexual conduct with another person under the age of 18, and could be charged and adjudicated as a “delinquent” in family juvenile court, and be subject to Megan’s Law for life.  Of course there will be selective prosecution for these types of cases, but is this the type of laws that will eradicate the evils of child pornography?  I think not.

If you are charged with any type of sexual offense such as child pornography, sexual assault, rape, illegal sexual contact, child endangerment, lewdness, indecent exposure, you must immediately retain the legal services of an experienced criminal defense attorney.  New Jersey criminal defense attorney has represented many people charged with such offenses and has obtained favorable results in these types of cases included one case that was won by the New Jersey Supreme Court, State v. Franklin Jack Burr.

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq.                   Telephone: (908) 354-7006

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