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Jurisdiction of Prosecutors in NJ Sex Crimes Extends to Acts As Far As Germany

Jurisdiction of Prosecutors in NJ Sex Crimes Extends to Acts As Far As Germany

During a Paramus Catholic High School trip to Germany, two chaperones, Michael Sumulikoski, and assistant coach and substitute teacher, and Artur Sopel, vice president of operations, were alleged to have had sex with minors entrusted to their care. Bergen County Superior Court Judge James Guida heard the case of State v. Sumulikoski. The Judge ruled that, although the conduct was alleged to have occurred in Germany, the defendant’s role as supervisors began in New Jersey. Each defendant was charged with multiple counts of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a minor. Sopel was also charged with witness tampering. The Judge held that the question turned on whether a material element of the sexual assault statute, the relationship of the accused to the victim, could be considered conduct. His conclusion was that the defendants’ role as chaperones was the specific conduct the Legislature intended to prevent. The act of conduct, undertaking the role of chaperone, in New Jersey was the key to permitting prosecution in New Jersey. This blog is for informational purposes only and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney regarding your specific matter. If you are accused of a sex crime, you should consult an experienced criminal law attorney immediately in order to protect your rights. For more information on sex offenses or other criminal law matters in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com.

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