Friday, April 3, 2015

High School Chaperones Cannot Be Prosecuted In New Jersey For Oversees Class Trip In Which It Was Alleged That They Engaged In Sexual Contact With Students.

In a recent New Jersey Supreme Court case, State v. Sumulikoski, the court held that alleged criminal activity conducted oversees on a class trip could not be prosecuted in New Jersey.  In this case both the trial court and appellate division held that N.J.S.A. 2C:1-3(a)(1) conferred such jurisdiction.  Reversing, the Supreme Court held that because all of the alleged actions occurred oversees the proper jurisdiction, if any, should be Germany, and not New Jersey.

It is strange how this case had to be correctly decided by the Supreme Court, both the trial court and appellate division were dead wrong in holding that N.J.S.A. 2C:1-3(a)(1) conferred jurisdiction to the New Jersey courts for a crime that allegedly had been committed in Germany.  This is especially troubling because Germany's criminal laws are dis-similar to the criminal laws of New Jersey?  For example, in Germany the age for consensual sexual contact is 14-years of age, while New Jersey it is 18-years of age.  Further, the nightmare for defense counsel trying to investigate the alleged crime scene, interview witnesses, or call witnesses to testify at trial would be impossible.  All of these procedural issues would of course deny the defendant a fair trial.

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said that he did not do justice, he just did the law.  Isn't that the real problem with our legal system.  Often law and justice work at cross-purposes, one thing has nothing to do with the other.  Law without authentic justice is a game, charade or a tool for social injustice for the poor and marginalized. 

If you have been charged with a sexual crime in Essex, Union, Hudson, Somerset, Morris, Ocean, and Monmouth County you must consult an experienced criminal defense attorney.

277 North Broad Street
P.O. Box 261
Elizabeth, N.J. 07207
(908) 354-7006

Quote of the Day:  “For every wise owl you may expect a few cuckoos.” Rev. George William Rutler

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