(TRENTON) – An Assembly panel today released two bipartisan supported measures — sponsored in part by Assembly Democrats Marlene Caride and Charles Mainor — that would update New Jersey statutes concerning child pornography crimes and align them with the federal law governing these crimes.
“Child sex offenders deserve the most stringent penalties New Jersey can require for crimes against our children,” said Caride (D-Bergen, Passaic), sponsor of A-3740. “It is only fitting that we make sure sentencing options include the appropriate penalties, prohibitions and a mandate to serve a certain amount of time in jail. This legislation will help us do that.”
“Crimes against our children are the most despicable and cowardly,” said Mainor (D-Hudson), sponsor of A-3735. “To effectively prosecute these offenders, our state must remain current with the times. And by harmonizing our statutes with those on the federal level, we give the courts tools to sentence firmly and appropriately.”
Under the bills’ provisions, current law would be revised to include new terminology for child pornography; new gradations and enhanced penalties for child pornography possession , manufacturing and distribution offenses; and sentencing provisions on the number of items of child pornography involved, similar to federal law.
The bill, A-3735, would further add the crime of causing or permitting a child to engage in a prohibited sexual act subject to the provisions of the No Early Release Act. Persons convicted of a crime under the No Early Release Act must serve 85% of their court imposed sentence before becoming eligible for parole consideration.
The measures were approved by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee; and will now go the Assembly Speaker who will decide when to post it for a floor vote.