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Sexual Assault + Rape Defense Attorney for Rowan University Students

Rowan University treats sexual assault charges in New Jersey with the utmost seriousness. In addition to facing University hearings and disciplinary sanctions, the student can be criminally prosecuted in Superior Court. If you or your child is charged with sexual assault while attending Rowan, whether on- or off-campus, he or she risks penalties that include prison time, heavy fines, a felony record, and expulsion from the University. This could mean the loss of scholarships and student loan eligibility, loss of eligibility for internship or volunteer programs, extreme difficulty obtaining employment, and prohibitions on traveling abroad. Furthermore, if your child is convicted of sexual assault, he or she will be forced to register as a sex offender for life.

The bottom line is that your family needs serious, aggressive, and sophisticated legal representation. At the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, we are Rowan sexual assault lawyers with over 45 years of combined legal experience representing freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors in criminal and University hearings involving felony sex crimes. We understand the high stakes and sensitive issues at stake in these types of cases, and will fight tirelessly to protect your child’s reputation and future. Contact us online right away to arrange a free legal consultation, or call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956 today.

What is the Difference Between Sexual Assault and Rape?

The terms “rape” and “sexual assault” are sometimes used interchangeably. However, most states distinguish between these offenses, with different legal definitions and punishments for each.

In some states – including New Jersey – there is no rape statute. That means you will not be charged with rape in New Jersey. Instead, you may be charged with the crime of sexual assault, which is defined and explained below.

NJ Sexual Assault Law (N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2)

The New Jersey sexual assault statute, or state law that defines sexual assault, is N.J.S.A. § 2C:14-2. This statute explains the “elements” of the offense of sexual assault, or the facts that the state must prove in order for a defendant to be convicted of sexual assault. Under N.J.S.A. § 2C:14-2(b), a person commits the crime of sexual assault by having any sort of “sexual contact with a victim who is less than 13 years old,” provided the defendant is also “at least four years older than the victim.”

There are also other ways a person can commit sexual assault as it is defined by the law. For example, under N.J.S.A. § 2C:14-2(c), it is sexual assault to penetrate another person in any of the following scenarios:

  • The alleged offender “uses physical force or coercion,” but does not seriously injure the victim.
  • The alleged offender is a medical professional acting against a patient, a parole or probation officer acting against a parolee or probationer, or a corrections officer or other authority figure acting against an inmate or detainee.
  • The victim was 13, 14, or 15 years old at the time of the alleged assault, and the defendant was “at least four years older than the victim.”
    • In cases where the victim and alleged offender were similar in age, such as a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old, New Jersey’s “close in age” exemption may apply, providing a potential legal defense.
  • The victim was 16 or 17 years old at the time of the alleged offense, and one of the following also applies:
    • The offender and victim are related.
    • The offender had any type of “supervisory or disciplinary power… over the victim,” such as a teacher or coach.
    • The offender is the victim’s legal guardian or “resource family parent,” which is a person who is providing childcare while adoption proceedings are being finalized.

Is Sexual Assault a Felony?

New Jersey refers to felonies as “indictable crimes” or simply “crimes.” Offenses that would be equivalent to a misdemeanor in other states are known as “disorderly persons offenses.”

Sexual assault is an indictable crime in the state of New Jersey. More specifically, it is a crime of the second degree, equivalent to a second degree felony in other states. That means you will have a felony record if you are convicted of sexual assault in New Jersey.

Sexual Assault Sentencing in NJ

The penalties for a felony in New Jersey can be severe, particularly in cases involving sex crimes, where prosecutors often take tough stances seeking lengthy sentences. The student may be expelled from Rowan, banned from entering certain countries, and prohibited from owning a firearm. In terms of court-ordered and criminal penalties, the defendant may face prison time, costly fines, and be ordered to pay victim restitution. The maximum prison sentence for a second degree crime in New Jersey is 10 years, with a fine as high as $150,000. In addition, registration as a sex offender is mandatory.

Rape and Sexual Assault Defense Lawyer for Rowan University Students

Mere allegations of rape or sexual assault can destroy a student’s good name. It is vital that you act quickly to start building a robust defense strategy. For a free legal consultation with a Rowan sexual assault attorney, call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956, or contact us online today. We are available 24/7 to assist you with your legal matter.

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