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  • NJ A5022
  • Amends certain provisions of sexual assault statute to clarify elements necessary for conviction.
In Committee
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/VetoedVeto Overridden
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill amends certain provisions of the sexual assault statute to make it consistent with current law as established in relevant case law, and as set forth in the instructions presented to the jury during the course of criminal proceedings. The bill is based on recommendations of the New Jersey Law Revision Commission (NJLRC) pursuant to its 2014 final report relating to sexual offenses. This bill replaces the term "physical force" in accordance with the New Jersey Supreme Court's holding in State in Interest of M.T.S., 129 N.J. 422 (1992), which holds that the only requirement for a conviction under the sexual assault statute is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that there was sexual penetration and that it was accomplished without the affirmative and freely-given permission of the victim. This amendment provides clarity by incorporating the holding into the statute. As discussed by the NJLRC in its report, since the M.T.S. decision, courts that consider sexual assault cases need to use both statute and the court decision to determine the elements necessary for conviction. The bill also amends the statute to articulate the New Jersey Supreme Court's determination, as set forth in State v. Olivio, 123 N.J. 550 (1991), that a person is "mentally defective" within the meaning of the statute if, at the time of the sexual penetration, the person is incapable of understanding the distinctively sexual nature of the conduct and is incapable of understanding or exercising the right to refuse to engage in sexual conduct. In addition, the bill amends paragraph (3) of subsection a. of the statute to clarify that the phrase "aggravated assault on another" refers to a person other than the victim, and adds the crime of carjacking to the aggravating offenses. These changes are based on the New Jersey Supreme Court opinions in State v. Rangel, 213 N.J. 500 (2013), and State v. Drury, 190 N.J. 197 (2007). Finally, the bill replaces gender-specific language with gender-neutral terms.
Law and Public Safety
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee  (on 6/15/2017)
Date Chamber Action Description
6/15/2017 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified