“We’re using child abuse to treat child-on-child sexual abuse”

By Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg . . . Seth (not his real name) describes himself as an outcast as a child. “I was the fat kid with glasses that got picked on ever since first grade,” said Seth, now 40, who grew up in New Jersey, where he still lives. “I was always a socially awkward kid.”

In 1993, when he was 14, Seth said, he sexually experimented with a friend who was 10. The younger boy claimed Seth had threatened to hurt him if he didn’t comply, an allegation Seth denies. The boy told his family, who then confronted Seth.

“I didn’t even know it was against the law,” Seth told The Appeal, who said he at first denied that anything had occurred between himself and the friend because he feared “the stigma of being gay.”

In September 1993, Seth was adjudicated as a delinquent with aggravated sexual assault. He was sentenced to probation and required to receive counseling.

The following year, his situation grew more grave when he was added to New Jersey’s newly established sex offender registry. Under the state’s registry law, known as Megan’s Law, he could be removed from the registry if he remained offense-free for 15 years and could demonstrate that he wasn’t a threat to others.

In 1994, however, Seth was caught shoplifting Legos from a department store, he told The Appeal. And that offense, the local prosecutor has argued, should keep Seth on the registry for the rest of his life.

But a case now before the Superior Court of New Jersey could offer Seth a second chance. The central issue before the court is: If a nonsexual offense occurs within the first 15 years, can the clock restart or is the person forced to stay on the registry permanently?

The court’s decision could impact Seth and the lives of more than 16,000 other registrants—almost 1,000 of whom are children—in New Jersey.

“No matter what my story is, people are going to hear Megan’s Law and automatically assume stuff,” said Seth. “There are certain freedoms that you and other people who are not subject to this take for granted.”

Read the full article here at The Appeal.

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    • #49105 Reply
      R M

      “But a case now before the Superior Court of New Jersey could offer Seth a second chance. The central issue before the court is: If a nonsexual offense occurs within the first 15 years, can the clock restart or is the person forced to stay on the registry permanently?”

      What is the name of this case? It will directly affect me.

      From my research I found this site which is dated May 30, 2017,
      which states “The bottom line is that the issue has been finally decided. If a registered sex offender commits any offense whatsoever, whether a crime, disorderly persons offense, or petty disorderly persons offense, after being placed on the Sex Offense Registry, then they are not eligible to have their reporting requirements terminated for 15 years after the commission of that offense. The offense does not have to be of a sexual nature in order for it to count.”

      • #49155 Reply
        R M


        • #49162 Reply
          Sandy Rozek
          Sandy Rozek

          I am trying to find out.

          • #49174 Reply
            R M

            Thanks Sandy. I am still digging into it myself.

          • #49950 Reply
            R M

            Have you found anything about these two cases yet Sandy? I have contacted two lawyers in NJ, no response. I also found out that Tennessee has the same kind of supervision (CSL) (Through https://www.casemine.com/home .

          • #49962 Reply
            Sandy Rozek
            Sandy Rozek

            Yes; it is one case with two plaintiffs, and the outcome is favorable. We posted this here a couple of days ago: https://narsol.org/2018/12/nj-superior-ct-opens-door-for-removal-from-registry-for-two-registrants/. In in there is a link to the decision and to a news item about the decision. From our home page, it is under the Legal/Courts heading.

          • #50053 Reply
            R M

            Thanks Sandy. I misread the “Seth” case wrong and thought it was what I am after, so even when that other case was posted (I saw it and commented), I still thought there was a case pending. I am looking for cases that redefine what an offense/crime is in NJ. So far, I have only seen cases that have failed for the appellate challenging the definition of offense/crime.

      • #49346 Reply

        So, in other words, it’s screw you, that’s why. Any sort of brush with the law restarts the counter. Talk about a special standard!! These butt-holes get off on the unending punishment of sex offenders. I swear I’m to the point of thinking they sit up at night just trying to think of some new way to screw with sex offenders who have paid their debt.

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