PolitickerNJ Wire Feed

By Gina Wilder | January 17th, 2013 - 1:34pm
| More

Assembly Democrats News Release

Assembly Democrat Sponsored Legislation to Protect Children of Sexual Assault Offenses Released by Assembly Panel

 
Measure Would Prohibit Custody and Visitation for Anyone Convicted of Sexual Assault

 

(Trenton) - The Assembly Judiciary Committee approved today legislation that would prohibit a person convicted of a sexual assault that resulted in the birth of child from obtaining custody or visitation rights to that child. The measure is sponsored by Assembly Democrats Troy Singleton, Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver, Pamela R. Lampitt, Gabriela M. Mosquera, Herb Conaway, Jr., and Bonnie Watson Coleman.

"The clear purpose of this measure is to protect the well-being of a child," said Singleton (D-Burlington). "Especially in the circumstance of a parent committing the criminal act, the safety of the child is the first priority. Current law must be changed in order to make it happen."

"Current law's 'best interest of a child' exception may be putting children in harm's way in these cases," said Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic). "The term 'best interest' is essentially voided by the nature of the crime. The child is also a victim and must be protected at all costs."

"Our priority remains to protect our children and families with strong legislative actions," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). "We must make sure the children do not remain victims. This bill takes great step toward protecting these children from further victimization."

Under current law, a person convicted of sexual assault would not be awarded the custody of or visitation rights to any minor child, including a minor child who was born as a result of or was the victim of sexual assault, except upon showing by clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interest of the child.

The bill (A-3537) would remove the "best interest of the child" exception in the case of a child born as a result of the sexual assault. Under the bill's provisions, the "best interest of the child" exception will be kept in tact in the other situations encompassed by current law. It also would provide that the denial of custody and visitation shall not by itself terminate parental rights or affect the obligation to support the minor child.

"Children who are exposed to fragile situations of sexual assault or domestic violence need and deserve greater protection under the law," said Mosquera (D-Camden/Gloucester). "Sexual assault is an unspeakable violation. No child should be placed in a situation where this or any type harm has the potential to occur."

"Committing a crime of this nature annuls any clear and convincing evidence of being a good parental figure or nurturing to a child," said Conaway (D-Burlington). "New Jersey law must be strengthened to protect children in these situations."

'Children, in these cases especially, deserve a chance to live a life free from harm and any potential victimization," said Watson Coleman (D-Mercer/Hudson). "This is legislative action truly serving the best interest of the child."

The measure was released by the Assembly panel under the provision that the sponsors will continue to consider further amendments to the bill that would allow judges to employ discretion under certain circumstances.

To read more, please visit the New Jersey General Assembly Democratic Office Web site.

On the Net:
The Assembly Democratic Office Web site
NJ Assembly Dems on YouTube
NJ Assembly Dems on Vimeo
NJ Assembly Dems on Facebook
NJ Assembly Dems on Twitter
NJ Assembly Dems e-mail alerts

Contact Info: 

Assembly Majority Office 609.847.3500

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 25th

  After 'briefly' meeting with Christie in Aspen, Astorino says he can live with not having Christie's help New York gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino's campaign described their candidate's fundraising trip to Aspen last night as a success - even if they will not be depending on the chairman...

Op-Ed

NJ Legislature must get behind statewide standard of responsible contracting

By Michael Capelli As a 30 year union carpenter, I learned first-hand how important it was to have the right tools for the job. Now as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the 30,000 men and women of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters I... Read More >

Contributors

 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
(7-23-14) Rabner Opinion Keeps “Christie for President” Alive - Gov. Chris Christie’s fight to prevent same-sex marriage in New Jersey ended with Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.... more »
The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Gov. Chris Christie says he won’t campaign for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York because the cause is hopeless: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ahead by more than 30 points. But he will campaign in New Hampshire, over and over, where the Republican is also trailing by more than 30 points. What’s the reason? It may be that New Hampshire holds the nation’s first presidential primary. It may be that he doesn’t want to mess with Cuomo, who knows where the skeletons are buried at the Port Authority. But one thing is certain: Gov. Straight Talk is spinning again. And it seems to be habit-forming." - columnist Tom Moran

- Star-Ledger

Poll

Which contest are you most focused on this coming season?:

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources