Under the law, the mandatory sentence could be negotiated down to 15 years if the alleged victim does not testify in court. Of course, with any criminal case, the burden of proof falls on the prosecution, and with the stakes increasingly high for defendants, accused individuals would be wise to mount a strong criminal defense.
Charges of child sexual assault are some of the most aggressively prosecuted in the criminal justice system. Even if a sex crime allegation is never proven in court, an accused individual can face long-term repercussions, including reputation damage and family strife. Those accused of sex-related crimes will need discreet legal representation to analyze the facts of the case and ensure that a conviction does not result from faulty evidence or mistakes on the part of police or prosecutors.
Such a defense may involve careful cross-examination of medical doctors and child psychologists, as well as alleged victims. A criminal defense attorney should also keep abreast of any changes in the law and how those changes may affect the process of crafting the best possible defense.
Source: CBS New York, “Gov. Chris Christie Signs Sex Offender Bill Into Law,” June 2, 2014