SENATE, No. 1713

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED MARCH 11, 2010

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† SHIRLEY K. TURNER

District 15 (Mercer)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator Goodwin

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Upgrades sexual assault to aggravated sexual assault when committed in conjunction with a carjacking.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning aggravated sexual assault and amending N.J.S.2C:14-2.

 

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

 

†††† 1.††† N.J.S.2C:14-2 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 2C:14-2.† Sexual assault.† a.† An actor is guilty of aggravated sexual assault if he commits an act of sexual penetration with another person under any one of the following circumstances:

†††† (1)†† The victim is less than 13 years old;

†††† (2)†† The victim is at least 13 but less than 16 years old; and

†††† (a)†† The actor is related to the victim by blood or affinity to the third degree, or

†††† (b)†† The actor has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of the actor's legal, professional, or occupational status, or

†††† (c)†† The actor is a resource family parent, a guardian, or stands in loco parentis within the household;

†††† (3)†† The act is committed during the commission, or attempted commission, whether alone or with one or more other persons, of robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, homicide, aggravated assault on another, burglary, arson or criminal escape;

†††† (4)†† The actor is armed with a weapon or any object fashioned in such a manner as to lead the victim to reasonably believe it to be a weapon and threatens by word or gesture to use the weapon or object;

†††† (5)†† The actor is aided or abetted by one or more other persons and the† actor uses physical force or coercion;

†††† (6)†† The actor uses physical force or coercion and severe personal injury is sustained by the victim;

†††† (7)†† The victim is one whom the actor knew or should have known was physically helpless, mentally defective or mentally incapacitated.

†††† Aggravated sexual assault is a crime of the first degree.

†††† b.††† An actor is guilty of sexual assault if he commits an act of sexual contact with a victim who is less than 13 years old and the actor is at least four years older than the victim.

†††† c.†††† An actor is guilty of sexual assault if he commits an act of sexual penetration with another person under any one of the following circumstances:

†††† (1)†† The actor uses physical force or coercion, but the victim does not sustain severe personal injury;

†††† (2)†† The victim is on probation or parole, or is detained in a hospital, prison or other institution and the actor has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of the actor's legal, professional or occupational status;

†††† (3)†† The victim is at least 16 but less than 18 years old and:

†††† (a)†† The actor is related to the victim by blood or affinity to the third degree; or

†††† (b)†† The actor has supervisory or disciplinary power of any nature or in any capacity over the victim; or

†††† (c)†† The actor is a resource family parent, a guardian, or stands in loco parentis within the household;

†††† (4)†† The victim is at least 13 but less than 16 years old and the actor is at least four years older than the victim.

†††† Sexual assault is a crime of the second degree.

(cf: P.L.2004, c.130, s.13)

 

†††† 2.††† This act shall take effect on the first day of the second month following enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill adds carjacking to the list of crimes that, if committed in conjunction with a sexual assault, elevate that sexual assault, a crime of the second degree, to aggravated sexual assault, a crime of the first degree.

†††† Currently, a sexual assault is upgraded to aggravated sexual assault if the assault is committed during the commission, or attempted commission, of a robbery, kidnapping, homicide, aggravated assault on another, burglary, arson or criminal escape.

†††† As a second degree crime, sexual assault is punishable by a term of imprisonment between five and 10 years, a fine of not more than $150,000, or both.† As a first degree crime, aggravated sexual assault is punishable by imprisonment for a term of 10 to 20 years, a fine of not more than $200,000, or both.

†††† The purpose of this bill is to address a recent New Jersey Supreme Court decision, State v. Drury, 2007 N.J. Lexis 447, where a defendantís sentence for aggravated sexual assault was downgraded because the crime was committed in conjunction with a carjacking.† Currently, sexual assault is not upgraded to aggravated sexual assault if it is committed in conjunction with a carjacking. During the trial, the prosecution had successfully argued that carjacking was a new kind of robbery.† This downgrading of the crime from aggravated sexual assault to sexual assault has a significant impact on the defendantís sentence.† Guilty of a crime of the first degree, the defendant would have been required to serve 17 years before being eligible for parole.† Now guilty of a second degree crime, the defendant will be eligible for parole after eight and one-half years.