(TRENTON) – An Assembly panel today released two bipartisan supported measures — sponsored in part by Assembly Democrats Charles Mainor, Gilbert “Whip” Wilson, Marlene Caride and Angelica Jimenez– that would update New Jersey statutes concerning child pornography crimes and align them with the federal law governing these crimes.
“Crimes against our children are the most despicable and cowardly. 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,” said Mainor (D-Hudson).
“By harmonizing our statutes with those on the federal level, we give courts the tools to sentence criminals, who are guilty of these shameful acts, firmly and appropriately,” said Wilson (D-Camden, Gloucester).
The bill (A-3735/3740) would 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.
“Child sex offenders deserve the most stringent penalties New Jersey can require for crimes against our children. This legislation will help us do that,” said Caride (D-Bergen, Passaic).
“Any crime committed in New Jersey that involves a child will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And to effectively prosecute these offenders, our law must remain in line with tougher federal law,” said Jimenez (D-Bergen, Hudson).
Under the 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 measure passed both houses, 75-0 in the Assembly,; and, now, heads to the Governor for further consideration.