ASSEMBLY, No. 3152

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 25, 2012

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  JON M. BRAMNICK

District 21 (Morris, Somerset and Union)

Assemblywoman  DONNA M. SIMON

District 16 (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset)

Assemblywoman  NANCY F. MUNOZ

District 21 (Morris, Somerset and Union)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman Handlin

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Makes all persons convicted of sexual assault subject to the No Early Release Act; specifies that any use of force elevates sexual assault to aggravated sexual assault.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning sexual assault and amending P.L.1997, c.117 and N.J.S.2C:14-2.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  Section 2 of P.L.1997, c.117 (C.2C:43-7.2) is amended to read as follows:

     2.  a. A court imposing a sentence of incarceration for a crime of the first or second degree enumerated in subsection d. of this section shall fix a minimum term of 85% of the sentence imposed, during which the defendant shall not be eligible for parole.

     b.    The minimum term required by subsection a. of this section shall be fixed as a part of every sentence of incarceration imposed upon every conviction of a crime enumerated in subsection d. of this section, whether the sentence of incarceration is determined pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-6, N.J.S.2C:43-7, N.J.S.2C:11-3 or any other provision of law, and shall be calculated based upon the sentence of incarceration actually imposed. The provisions of subsection a. of this section shall not be construed or applied to reduce the time that must be served before eligibility for parole by an inmate sentenced to a mandatory minimum period of incarceration.  Solely for the purpose of calculating the minimum term of parole ineligibility pursuant to subsection a. of this section, a sentence of life imprisonment shall be deemed to be 75 years.

     c.     Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary and in addition to any other sentence imposed, a court imposing a minimum period of parole ineligibility of 85 percent of the sentence pursuant to this section shall also impose a five-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the first degree, or a three-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the second degree.  The term of parole supervision shall commence upon the completion of the sentence of incarceration imposed by the court pursuant to subsection a. of this section unless the defendant is serving a sentence of incarceration for another crime at the time he completes the sentence of incarceration imposed pursuant to subsection a., in which case the term of parole supervision shall commence immediately upon the defendant's release from incarceration.  During the term of parole supervision the defendant shall remain in release status in the community in the legal custody of the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections and shall be supervised by the State Parole Board as if on parole and shall be subject to the provisions and conditions of section 3 of P.L.1997, c.117 (C.30:4-123.51b).

     d.    The court shall impose sentence pursuant to subsection a. of this section upon conviction of the following crimes or an attempt or conspiracy to commit any of these crimes:

     (1)   N.J.S.2C:11-3, murder;

     (2)   N.J.S.2C:11-4, aggravated manslaughter or manslaughter;

     (3)   N.J.S.2C:11-5, vehicular homicide;

     (4)   subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:12-1, aggravated assault;

     (5)   subsection b. of section 1 of P.L.1996, c.14 (2C:12-11), disarming a law enforcement officer;

     (6)   N.J.S.2C:13-1, kidnapping;

     (7)   subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:14-2, aggravated sexual assault;

     (8)   subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:14-2 and [paragraph (1) of] subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:14-2, sexual assault;

     (9)   N.J.S.2C:15-1, robbery;

     (10) section 1 of P.L.1993, c.221 (C.2C:15-2), carjacking;

     (11) paragraph (1) of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:17-1, aggravated arson;

     (12) N.J.S.2C:18-2, burglary;

     (13) subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:20-5, extortion;

     (14) subsection b. of section 1 of P.L.1997, c.185 (C.2C:35-4.1), booby traps in manufacturing or distribution facilities;

     (15) N.J.S.2C:35-9, strict liability for drug induced deaths;

     (16) section 2 of P.L.2002, c.26 (C.2C:38-2), terrorism;

     (17) section 3 of P.L.2002, c.26 (C.2C:38-3), producing or possessing chemical weapons, biological agents or nuclear or radiological devices; or

     (18) N.J.S.2C:41-2, racketeering, when it is a crime of the first degree.

     e.     (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2001, c.129).

(cf: P.L.2007, c.341, s.6)

 

     2.  N.J.S.2C:14-2 is amended to read as follows:

     2C:14-2.  Sexual assault. a. An actor is guilty of aggravated sexual assault if he commits an act of sexual penetration with another person under any one of the following circumstances:

     (1)   The victim is less than 13 years old;

     (2)   The victim is at least 13 but less than 16 years old; and

     (a)   The actor is related to the victim by blood or affinity to the third degree, or

     (b)   The actor has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of the actor's legal, professional, or occupational status, or

     (c)   The actor is a resource family parent, a guardian, or stands in loco parentis within the household;

     (3)   The act is committed during the commission, or attempted commission, whether alone or with one or more other persons, of robbery, kidnapping, homicide, aggravated assault on another, burglary, arson or criminal escape;

     (4)   The actor is 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 and threatens by word or gesture to use the weapon or object;

     (5)   The actor is aided or abetted by one or more other persons and the actor uses physical force or coercion;

     (6)   The actor uses physical force or coercion [and severe personal injury is sustained by the victim];

     (7)   The victim is one whom the actor knew or should have known was physically helpless, mentally incapacitated , or had a mental disease or defect which rendered the victim temporarily or permanently incapable of understanding the nature of his conduct, including, but not limited to, being incapable of providing consent.

     Aggravated sexual assault is a crime of the first degree.

     b.    An actor is guilty of sexual assault if he commits an act of sexual contact with a victim who is less than 13 years old and the actor is at least four years older than the victim.

     c.     An actor is guilty of sexual assault if he commits an act of sexual penetration with another person under any one of the following circumstances:

     (1)   [The actor uses physical force or coercion, but the victim does not sustain severe personal injury] (Deleted by amendment, P.L.    , c.    ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill);

     (2)   The victim is on probation or parole, or is detained in a hospital, prison or other institution and the actor has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of the actor's legal, professional or occupational status;

     (3)   The victim is at least 16 but less than 18 years old and:

     (a)   The actor is related to the victim by blood or affinity to the third degree; or

     (b)   The actor has supervisory or disciplinary power of any nature or in any capacity over the victim; or

     (c)   The actor is a resource family parent, a guardian, or stands in loco parentis within the household;

     (4)   The victim is at least 13 but less than 16 years old and the actor is at least four years older than the victim.

     Sexual assault is a crime of the second degree.

(cf: P.L.2011, c.232, s.4)

 

     3.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would make all forms of sexual assault subject to sentencing under the No Early Release Act (NERA) and specify that the use of any physical force or coercion in a sexual assault, regardless of whether that force or coercion results in severe physical injury to the victim, elevates the crime to aggravated sexual assault, a crime of the first degree.

     Under NERA (P.L.1997, c.117; C.2C:43-7.2), persons who commit certain violent crimes of the first and second degree are required to serve a minimum of 85% of the sentence imposed on them by the court.

     One exception to this general rule involves sexual assault.  Although sexual assault is a crime of the second degree, a person who commits sexual assault is subject to the provisions of NERA only if that assault (1) involves sexual contact with a victim who is less than 13 years of age and the actor is at least four years older than the victim or (2) the actor uses physical force or coercion, but that force or coercion does not cause severe personal injury to the victim, which would raise the offense to the crime of aggravated sexual assault.  Aggravated sexual assault is a crime of the first degree and all those convicted of that crime are subject to NERA.

     This bill would make all forms of sexual assault subject to NERA.

     The bill also amends N.J.S.2C:14-2 to specify that the use of physical force or coercion in a sexual assault, regardless of whether that force or coercion results in severe physical injury to the victim, elevates any crime of sexual assault to aggravated sexual assault, a crime of the first degree.  The penalties for a crime of the first degree are imprisonment for a term of 10 to 20 years, a fine of up to $200,000, or both.