New Jersey Criminal Sexual Contact Laws

We represent clients charged with N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3; New Jersey criminal sexual contact complaints and indictments filed in Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, Somerset County, Essex County, Union County, and Hudson County.

This is a crime of the third or fourth degree depending whether it is aggravated - third degree - or not.

There are five types of prohibited contacts under this statute.

The elements of this charge are first the touching by the victim or by the defendant of the victim's or the defendant's intimate parts:

sexual organs, genital area, anal area, inner thigh, buttock or breast.

The touching may be done directly or indirectly through clothing.

If the touching involves a touching by the defendant of him or herself, it must be done in the view of the victim whom the defendant knows to be present.

Second, the touching must be intentional.

Third, the state must prove that the touching was done with a purpose of degrading or humiliating the victim or sexually arousing or sexually gratifying the defendant.

For the first type of this offense, in addition to proving the three elements, the state must prove two additional elements.

It must prove that the victim was at least thirteen years old but less than sixteen years old.

In addition, the state must prove a special relationship between the defendant and the victim.

This relationship must be one of three types.

The first type of relationship is that the defendant is related to the victim by blood or affinity to the third degree and the defendant knew about the familial relationship with the victim.

Second, defendant has a supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of the defendant's legal, professional, or occupational status.

This includes schoolteachers.

Third, defendant is a foster parent or guardian.

For the second type of offense, in addition to proving contact, the state must prove that the act was committed during the commission or attempted commission of a robbery, kidnapping, homicide, aggravated assault on another, burglary, arson or criminal escape.

For the third type of offense, the state must prove two elements in addition to the elements of the contact.

It must prove that the defendant was 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.

In addition, it must prove that the defendant did threaten by word or gesture to use the weapon to achieve the sexual advantage.

For the fourth type of offense, there are two elements in addition to the elements of the contact.

It must be proven that he defendant was aided by one or more persons.

In addition, it must be proven that the defendant used physical force or coercion.

The fifth type of offense has two elements in the addition to the elements of the contact.

First, the defendant used physical force or coercion.

Second, the victim must have suffered severe personal injury.

For each of these offenses, a sexual contact must be proven although sexual penetration must not be proven.

Crime with sexual penetration is an assault charge instead of a sexual contact charge.

Consent is not a defense to any aggravated sexual contact or sexual contact in which one of the elements is that the victim is less than a specified age.

Consent is also not a defense when there is an element of the offense that the victim is mentally defective or mentally incapacitated.

In addition, consent is not a defense when an element of the offense is that the victim has one of the specified statuses and the defendant has supervisory or disciplinary status over the victim.

If you have any questions for a NJ criminal defense lawyer about a New Jersey Criminal sexual contact charge, please do not hesitate to contact us.