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Mainor, Wilson & Caride Legislation Strengthening State Law, Penalties for Child Pornography Crimes in NJ Advances

(TRENTON) – An Assembly panel today released a bipartisan supported measures — sponsored in part by Assembly Democrats Charles Mainor, Gilbert L. “Whip” Wilson, and Marlene Caride — 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,” said Mainor (D-Hudson). “To effectively prosecute offenders, state statutes must remain current with the times. By harmonizing our statutes with those on the federal level, we give the courts the tools necessary to sentence firmly and appropriately.”

“Child sex offenders commit deplorable crimes against innocence,” said Wilson (D-Camden, Gloucester). “Their penalty and/or sentence must be suitable for the crime and that means revisiting existing law and updating it to maintain the tough statutes for which New Jersey is respected.”

Child sex offenders deserve the most stringent penalties New Jersey can impose for crimes perpetrated against children,” said Caride (D-Bergen, Passaic). It is only fitting that we make sure sentencing options include appropriate penalties, necessary prohibitions, while mandating requisite jail time actually served. This legislation will assist us in accomplishing these objectives.”

Under the bill’s 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 measure was approved today by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The legislation cleared the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee in early May; and it will now go the Assembly Speaker who will decide when to post it for a floor vote.