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Responding to Criminal Sexual Contact Charges

Sex crimes are some of the most fervently prosecuted crimes in the state. Prosecutors will go to great lengths to punish individuals charged with sex crimes in New Jersey. This may be why there are multiple sex-related offenses codified into laws. Of course rape and sexual assault are two of the most recognized laws. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the gambit of sex crimes in the state. Just because these crimes are not as well known as their more serious counterparts, this does not make them any less relevant.

Criminal Sexual Contact

Take for example the charge of criminal sexual contact. Criminal sexual contact charges are very closely related to sexual assault charges. Sexual contact is covered under N.J.S.A. 2c:14-3, however it also incorporates aspects of the sexual assault statute. The two kinds of criminal sexual contact are divided into aggravated sexual contact and other types of sexual contact. Whereas sexual assault involves some type of penetration, sexual contact does not. Aggravated sexual contact is a third degree crime, while other types of criminal sexual contact constitute a fourth degree crime. All of these distinctions may seem confusing, but they can absolutely be important after you are charged with a crime.

Arrests for Sex Crimes

NorthJersey.com just recently on a person arrested for criminal sexual contact, just days after being released from Bergen County jail. Michael Depalma was arrested after a 16-year-old girl reported contacting someone online who planned to meet her in New Milford. Before the scheduled meeting the man, Depalma solicited the girl for explicit photos of her. He in turn sent explicit photos of himself. At the time of the meeting, the teenage girl was engaged in lewd acts in Depalma’s car. These actions precipitated him being charged with counts of child pornography and criminal sexual contact.

Unfortunately, while the dangers of online strangers are well-known among parents, even places you might consider safe may harbor individuals accused of this behavior. This is the lesson learned by parents of students attending Monmouth Regional High School. NJ.com reported on the sentencing of Nicholas DePue, who pled guilty to two counts of endangering the welfare of a minor in January 2016. Originally DePue was facing multiple other charges including sexual assault and fourth degree criminal sexual contact. As a teacher at the high school, DePue carried on inappropriate relationships with two of his students. Those relationships included both physical contact and inappropriate text messages. At his sentencing, DePue was sentenced to five years in a New Jersey correctional facility.

Seeking Legal Aid

As you can tell, criminal sexual charges are taken very seriously in the state of New Jersey. If you are ever confronted with such charges, then you could easily be overwhelmed.  There are defenses you may be able to raise to these charges, but it can still be difficult to deal with alone. This is why you need the assistance of an experienced criminal law attorney like Phillip J. Murphy. Phillip J. Murphy is licensed to practice in New Jersey and has been practicing law since 1989. Contact us today to discuss your options.

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