Date Rape in New Jersey

There are various crimes that involve sexual violence ranging from sexual harassment, stalking, and rape. Data from the Centers for Disease Control indicates that approximately one in every six women will experience a sexual assault at some point in their life. The majority of incidents of sexual assault are committed by someone that the victim knows. Approximately 46% of female rape victims considered the perpetrator as being an acquaintance and nearly as many said the perpetrator was or had been an intimate partner.

Date or Acquaintance Rape

Only about 10% of sexual assaults are committed by a stranger. The terms “acquaintance” or “date” rape is often used to describe acts of sexual activity that are non-consensual. The perpetrators of these crimes are often boyfriends, neighbors, classmates, and more. In New Jersey in 2016, there were 138 reported rapes at colleges and universities, which are a common environment for occurrences of date rape.

Aggravated Sexual Assault (2C:14-2)

Aggravated sexual assault is a crime of the first-degree committed when sexual penetration occurs under the following circumstances:

  • Involving someone less than 13-years old
  • Involving someone who is 13 but less than 16 and
    • Is committed by a relative or
    • Is committed by someone in a role as a supervisor or is responsible for disciplining the child legally or based on employment or
    • Is committed by a parent, guardian, or someone designated with caring for the minor
  • Is committed while also in the act of attempting to commit a criminal offense such as burglary, arson, etc.
  • Is committed by someone who is armed with a weapon at the time or implies that they are
  • Is committed using force or coercion with assistance from another person
  • Is committed by someone with knowledge that the victim has a mental or physical impairment that makes them incapable of legally giving consent to engage in sexual activity

Sexual Assault (Second Degree)

A sexual assault offense is one involving sexual contact committed amid the following conditions:

  • The victim is a minor under the age of 13 who is four or more years younger
  • It may also apply to acts of sexual penetration when:
    • The victim is forced or coerced into participating in a sex act but is not physically injured
    • Is committed by someone in a role as a supervisor or other authoritative role relative to the victim
    • The victim is 16 or 17-years-old and:
      • Is committed by a parent, guardian, or designated with caring for the minor
      • Is committed by someone in a role as a supervisor or is responsible for disciplining the child legally or based on employment
    • The victim is either 13, 14, or 15 years of age and is four or more years younger than the offender

Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact (2C:14-3)

An offense of aggravated criminal sexual contact involves sexual contact when any of the following conditions exist:

  • The victim is 13, 14, or 15-years-old and
    • Is committed by a close relative or parent or guardian, or
    • Is committed by a supervisor or someone with disciplinary responsibility for the victim due to legal, professional, or job-related status, or
  • Occurs while committing a robbery, aggravated assault, burglary or comparable offense
  • Is committed by someone that possesses a weapon or implies that they have a weapon
  • Is committed with the assistance of another party and involves the usage of force or coercion
  • The usage of force resulted in a personal injury
  • Is committed by someone who is aware that the victim is helpless, mentally deficient, or otherwise unable to grant consent

Criminal Sexual Contact

An offense of criminal sexual contact involves an act committed under any of the following circumstances:

  • Is committed coercively or by using physical force; however, the victim does not suffer a severe personal injury;
  • Is committed by someone who is a supervisor or has some disciplinary obligation to the victim due to legal, professional, or occupational status;
  • The victim is 16 or 17-years old and:
    • Is committed by a close relative, parent or guardian, or
    • Is committed by someone acting as a supervisor or has some disciplinary responsibility for the victim due to legal, professional, or job-related status, or
  • The victim is 13, 14, or 15 years of age and is committed by someone that is at least four years older than the victim

The term “sexual contact” refers to an act committed knowingly where the offender touches the victim directly or through their clothes in an intimate area of their body. This act may be motivated by an intention to degrade or demean the victim or for the perpetrator's own sexual gratification.

Aggravated criminal sexual contact is a third-degree offense that is punishable by a prison sentence of up to five years and a maximum fine of $15,000. Criminal sexual contact is a fourth-degree offense that is punishable by up to 18 months of incarceration and a maximum fine of $10,000.

Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault

An individual who intends to commit a date rape may use drugs are a means of incapacitating their victim. One way that this may be executed is by putting a drug into the potential victim's drink. The perpetrator in these situations seeks to engage in sexual activity with the victim without their consent after they enter a state of impaired consciousness. 

Flunitrazepam is a drug that is branded as Rohypnol that is among the better known “date rape drugs.” Once ingested, it may suppress the activity of the central nervous system and create confusion and cause amnesia. It was originally a drug that lacked any color, odor, or taste, which made it extremely dangerous in these situations. In New Jersey, having possession of the substance is a third-degree criminal offense.

Statute of Limitations

There is no statute of limitations for crimes of sexual assault in New Jersey. The majority of other sexually-related offenses have a five-year statute of limitations. If the victim is under the age of 18 at the time of the offense, the statute of limitation is five-years after turning 18. If DNA or fingerprint evidence surfaces that identify a potential offender, a five-year period begins at that time. Statutes of limitations do not apply when a suspect has fled from justice.

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in New Jersey 

Joseph D. Lento is an attorney that has been successfully representing clients facing serious criminal allegations for many years. He is skilled at creating effective defense strategies that contest the evidence and look for opportunities to expose weaknesses in the prosecution's version of events. For a complimentary case consultation, call the office today at (888) 535-3686.

​​​Contact The Lento Law Firm Today

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When it comes to criminal defense cases, you need the right person in your corner. To learn more about how Mr. Lento can help you, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686. or contact him online.

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