First-Degree Aggravated Sexual Assault Remanded For Jury Charge
- February 8, 2016
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R.P. was convicted of first-degree aggravated sexual assault (N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(a)(6)) against his step-daughter O.M. while she was under the age of thirteen. R.P. was sentenced to 26 years in prison with a 13 year period of parole ineligibility. On the defendant’s appeal, challenging the conviction based on the trial court’s failure to charge the jury with the lesser-included offense of second-degree sexual assault (N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(c)(1)), the NJ Appellate Division found for the Defendant and vacated the conviction. Additionally, the Appellate Division denied the state’s request for a molded verdict pursuant to State v. Farrad, 753 A.2d 648, 164 N.J. 247, 192 N.J. 294 (2007), and remand for a new trial with on the first-degree aggravated sexual assault charge. The NJ Supreme Court’s review of State v. R.P. was focused solely on the state’s request for a molded verdict. Pursuant to State v. Farrad, the court identified 3 factors: (1) the defendant had his day in court; (2) each element of the lesser-included offense was included in the more serious offense; and (3) the jury’s conviction for the more serious offense implies guilt in of the lesser-included offense. In State v. R.P., the court added a prejudice element to the 3 factors by stating that, when all 3 factors are met and the defendant is not unduly prejudiced, a molded verdict should be granted for the state. The court reversed and remanded the matter. If you are charged with a sex crime you are subject to incarceration, registration as a sex offender and the accompanying stigma which will effect where you may live, where you may work and how others will treat you and possibly even civil commitment. It is critical that you obtain experienced criminal defense counsel to assist you with these charges. For more information about rape, endangering the welfare of a minor, sexual assault, criminal sexual contact and other sex crimes in New Jersey visit DarlingFirm.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of an attorney.