[First Reprint]

ASSEMBLY, No. 1561







Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  PAMELA R. LAMPITT

District 6 (Camden)

Assemblywoman  CELESTE M. RILEY

District 3 (Salem, Cumberland and Gloucester)


District 37 (Bergen)


Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman McKeon






     Creates diversionary program for juveniles who are criminally charged for “sexting” or posting sexual images.



     As reported by the Assembly Judiciary Committee on January 24, 2011, with amendments.


An Act creating a diversionary program for certain juveniles1, amending P.L.1982, c.811 and supplementing Title 2A of the New Jersey Statutes.


     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


     11.   Section 2 of P.L.1982, c.81 (C.2A:4A-71) is amended to read as follows:

     2.    Review and processing of complaints.   a.  The jurisdiction of the court in any complaint filed pursuant to section 11 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C. 2A:4A-30) shall extend to the juvenile who is the subject of the complaint and his parents or guardian.

     b.    Every complaint shall be reviewed by court intake services for recommendation as to whether the complaint should be dismissed, diverted, or referred for court action.  Where the complaint alleges a crime which, if committed by an adult, would be a crime of the first, second, third or fourth degree, or alleges a repetitive disorderly persons offense or any disorderly persons offense defined in chapter 35 or chapter 36 of Title 2C, the complaint shall be referred for court action, unless the prosecutor otherwise consents to diversion.  Court intake services shall consider the following factors in determining whether to recommend diversion:

     (1)   The seriousness of the alleged offense or conduct and the circumstances in which it occurred;

     (2)   The age and maturity of the juvenile;

     (3)   The risk that the juvenile presents as a substantial danger to others;

     (4)   The family circumstances, including any history of drugs, alcohol abuse or child abuse on the part of the juvenile, his parents or guardian;

     (5)   The nature and number of contacts with court intake services and the court that the juvenile or his family have had;

     (6)   The outcome of those contacts, including the services to which the juvenile or family have been referred and the results of those referrals;

     (7)   The availability of appropriate services outside referral to the court;

     (8)   Any recommendations expressed by the victim or complainant, or arresting officer, as to how the case should be resolved; [and]

     (9)   Any recommendation expressed by the county prosecutor; and

     (10) The offense alleged is an eligible offense pursuant to section 3 of P.L.    , c.   (C.       )(pending before the Legislature as this bill)  and the juvenile is eligible to participate in the educational reform program set forth section 3 of P.L.    ,c.   (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).1

(cf: P.L. 1988, c.44, s.17)


     12.   (New section) Where a complaint against a juvenile pursuant to section 11 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-30) alleges that the juvenile has committed an eligible offense satisfying the criteria set forth in subsection c. of section 3 of P.L.    , c.   (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) and the court has approved diversion of the complaint pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1982, c.81 (C.2A:4A-73) the resolution of the complaint shall include participation in an educational program set forth in 3 of P.L.    , c.   (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).1


     1[1.] 3.  (New section).1 a. As used in P.L.    , c.  (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), “eligible offense” means an offense 1[under N.J.S.2C:24-4]1 in which:

     (1)   the facts of the case involve the creation, exhibition or distribution 1[without malicious intent]1 of a photograph depicting nudity as defined in 1[that section] N.J.S.2C:24-41 through the use of 1an electronic communication device,1 an interactive wireless communications device or a computer; and

     (2)   the creator and subject of the photograph are juveniles or were juveniles at the time of its making.

     b.    The Attorney General, in consultation with the Administrative Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, shall develop an educational program for juveniles who have committed an eligible offense as defined under the provisions of subsection a. of this section.  1[The county prosecutor shall determine whether a juvenile shall be admitted to the program.]1 A juvenile who successfully completes the program shall have the opportunity to avoid prosecution for the eligible offense.

     c.     Admission to the program shall be limited to 1[juveniles who] cases where1:

     (1)   1[have] the juvenile has1 not previously been adjudicated delinquent for or convicted of a 1[criminal offense under Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes or the laws of the United States] crime or offense which, if committed by an adult, would constitute aggravated sexual assault; sexual assault; aggravated assault; aggravated criminal sexual contact; endangering the welfare of a child pursuant to N.J.S.2C:24-4; luring or enticing a child pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1993, c.291 (C.2C:13-6);  luring or enticing an adult pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2005, c.1 (C.2C:13-7) or an attempt to commit any of the enumerated offenses 1;

     (2)   1[were] the juvenile was1 not aware that 1[their] his1 actions could constitute and did not have the intent to commit a criminal offense;

     (3)   1[may be harmed by the imposition of criminal sanctions] there is a likelihood that the juvenile’s offense is related to a condition or situation that would be conducive to change through his participation in the educational program1; and

     (4)   1[would likely be deterred from engaging in similar conduct in the future by completing the program] the benefits to society in admitting the juvenile into this educational program outweigh the harm done to society by abandoning criminal prosecution1.

     d.    The educational program shall provide information concerning:

     (1)   the legal consequences of and penalties for sharing sexually suggestive or explicit materials, including applicable federal and State statutes;

     (2)   the non-legal consequences of sharing sexually suggestive or explicit materials including, but not limited to, the effect on relationships, loss of educational and employment opportunities, and being barred or removed from school programs and extracurricular activities;

     (3)   how the unique characteristics of cyberspace and the Internet, including searchibility, replicability, and an infinite audience, can produce long-term and unforeseen consequences for sharing sexually suggestive or explicit materials; and

     (4)   the 1possible1 connection between bullying and cyber-bullying and juveniles sharing sexually suggestive or explicit materials.

     e.     The Attorney General may promulgate guidelines to effectuate the provisions of this act.


     1[2.] 4.1  This act shall take effect on the first day of the seventh month after enactment.