New Jersey Internet Sex Crimes
Is Watching Pornography a Crime?
You can legally watch porn—if you do so in private. Because of a ruling made by the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division in 2019, it is a fourth-degree criminal offense to watch adult pornography in your parked car if it is in plain view of others (State vs. Lomanto, Docket No. A-5273-16T4). This act is considered an instance of public obscenity (N.J.S.A. § 2C:34-4 (b)).
Child Pornography Charges
Under New Jersey state law, it is illegal for a person to possess, watch, distribute, share, receive, photograph, video, produce or allow a child to engage in child pornography. Legally, anyone under 18 years old is a child. The penalties for child pornography offenses vary based on the specific charges. These offenses are typically considered third or second-degree crimes, and in addition to hefty fines and imprisonment, convictions can impact an offender’s rights and freedoms.
Revenge Porn | Invasion of Privacy Offenses
It is not uncommon for couples or friends to share photos or videos of a sexual nature. Unfortunately, it is also not uncommon for people to share those intimate photos after a breakup or fight. This practice, known as revenge porn, is an indictable offense.
According to N.J.S.A. § 2C:14-9, it is illegal for a person (that knows they are unlicensed) to photograph, film, videotape, record, or reproduce intimate images of another person without their consent; it is also illegal to share content that depicts another person:
- who is engaged in a sexual act of penetration or sexual contact,
- with their intimate parts exposed, or
- In undergarments without their consent.
Internet Solicitation of a Minor
Under NJSA § 2C:13-6, alleged offenders can be charged with a second-degree felony (or indictable offense) if they attempt to lure or entice a child (or someone they believe to be a child) using electronic or other means:
- into a vehicle, structure, or isolated area, or
- to meet or appear at any other place with the intent to commit a criminal offense with or against a child.
A structure can include but is not limited to any:
- Place adapted for overnight accommodations or doing business
A person commits a cyber harassment crime if they make one or more online comments or communications using an electronic device or social media to harass another person and:
- Threaten to physically harm or injure another person or their property
- Threaten to commit a crime against another person or their property
- Intentionally send, post, comment, request, suggest, or propose any indecent or obscene material to or about a person, aiming to emotionally harm or instill fear of physical or emotional harm in such a person
A violation of this law is considered a crime of the fourth degree. However, an alleged offender can be charged with a third-degree crime if the alleged offender is:
- 21 years of age or older at the time of the offense, and
- impersonates a minor in order to harass a minor online.
If a minor under 16 years old is adjudicated delinquent for cyber harassment, they may be required by the court to complete (in accompaniment with their parent or guardian) a class or training program intended to:
- Decrease their desire to harass others online
- Raise awareness of the dangers concerning cyber harassment
Facing internet sex crime charges in New Jersey? Contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys online or at (201) 574-7919. Don’t try to fight for your rights and freedoms alone. Being convicted of a sex crime can have lasting, negative consequences on your life.