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Sexual Assault Remanded For Consideration Of Mitigating Factors

Sexual Assault Remanded For Consideration Of Mitigating Factors

V.E.A. was indicted for second-degree sexual assault (N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(b)) and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child (N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a)) and was convicted on both counts following a jury trial. The charges stemmed from the accusations of his daughter that she awoke one evening to find the Defendant’s hand inside her shorts and panties on her buttocks after falling asleep on his bed while they were watching a movie. The child testified that he then began to move his hand around toward the front of her body and upward toward her breast at which time she asked to go to the bathroom. The Defendant excused her to go to the bathroom and did not continue the behavior according to his daughter. At sentencing, V.E.A. received a 7 year prison sentence with an eighty-five percent parole disqualifier subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA) (N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2) for sexual assault and a concurrent 7 year prison sentence for the second count of the indictment. In State v. V.E.A. the NJ Appellate Division heard V.E.A.’s arguments with regard to aggravating and mitigating factors and the disparity in the trial court judge’s findings with regard to same. The NJ Appellate Division found that where the judge stated at sentencing that she found no mitigating factors to exist but in the Judgment of Conviction indicated mitigating factor 10 (N.J.S.A. 2C:44-1(b)(10)) “the defendant is particularly likely to respond affirmatively to probationary treatment” applied and was accorded substantial weight by the trial judge such conflicted existed as to warrant the remand of the matter for resentencing with appropriate review of the aggravating and mitigating factors. If you are charged with a sex crime you are subject to incarceration, registration as a sex offender and the accompanying stigma which will affect 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 HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of an attorney.

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