In some cases involving allegations of sexual assault, it is possible for the accused to avoid a record of conviction and jail time by completing a pretrial intervention program (PTI). Those eligible for PTI typically must be first-time offenders. If a participant in the program fails to meet certain requirements or is charged with another crime, then the initial charge will be reinstated.
A young man in New Jersey recently entered PTI after being accused in connection with an alleged incident in April 2013. The 22-year-old and another young man, 21, were accused of assaulting two teenage girls, aged 15 and 16 at the time, after providing them with alcohol. To avoid prison and a conviction on his record, the man who was allowed to start the intervention program will have to meet the following requirements over the next three years:
- Avoid contact with the alleged victim
- Participate in substance-abuse counseling
- Pass random drug tests
- Complete community service
- Remain employed
- Avoid being charged with subsequent offenses
In New Jersey, the legal age of consent is 16, but according to the prosecution in this case, intoxication made the 16-year-old girl unable to consent to sex with the 22-year-old defendant.
The other young man was sentenced previously. He pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child and was given a five-year suspended sentence. Under Megan’s Law, he will also have to comply with parole supervision for life.
You can read more about the details of each case here.
To protect against overcharging and harsh penalties, individuals accused of sex-related crimes should speak with a criminal defense attorney with experience in handling sexual assault cases.