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State v. Wasserman

Decided: July 13, 1962.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
FAYE WASSERMAN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Price, Sullivan and Lewis. The opinion of the court was delivered by Lewis, J.A.D.

Lewis

[75 NJSuper Page 483] Defendant Faye Wasserman, 66 years of age, appeals from a judgment of the Hudson County Court, Criminal Division, entered on April 6, 1962, revoking her probation and suspended sentences and imposing new sentences. There had been 16 indictments under our criminal statutes against her involving N.J.S. 2A:87-1 (abortion), N.J.S. 2A:96-6 (placing or assisting in

placing a child for the purpose of adoption without proper authority), and N.J.S. 2A:96-7 (placing of children for adoption, other than by approved agency, for a consideration). Following a plea of guilty as to one indictment and her pleas of non vult as to the remaining 15 indictments, the sentencing court levied fines totalling $7,000 and sentenced her to the New Jersey State Reformatory for Women at Clinton for respective indeterminate terms (the maximum limit of any single term was five years), all to run concurrently. The aggregate of the several respective indeterminate terms on the 16 indictments was 28 years. At the same time, the court suspended the reformatory sentences and placed defendant on probation for five years.

Thereafter, on February 16, 1962, Mrs. Wasserman was arrested on two criminal complaints as the result of her alleged dealings with one Margaret Boyle and negotiations indirectly with a Patricia Close. The Boyle matter was referred to the grand jury, and the complaint respecting Close was withdrawn by the prosecutor. On February 24, 1962 defendant was charged with violating her probation and the notice thereof, duly served on the probationer, concluded with the specific statement that:

"(1) You have failed to avoid injurious and vicious habits.

(2) You have again become involved with the law.

(3) You have continued with your illegal behavior in that:

a. On or about Jan. 19, 1962, you negotiated with Jerome Close, husband of an expectant mother for the sale of her unborn baby (Mrs. Patricia Clark Close).

b. On or about Nov. 16, 1961, Dec. 5, 1961 and Dec. 26, 1961, you did negotiate with an expectant mother for the sale of her unborn baby (Margaret Boyle).

You may, if you so desire, retain counsel to represent you at the hearing."

There was a full hearing on the charges. Defendant was represented by counsel and three days were consumed in the examination and cross-examination of 13 witnesses, arguments of counsel and customary trial procedure. The

trial judge had a strong and abiding conviction, based upon the evidence produced, which he characterized as being "beyond a reasonable doubt," that defendant did violate her probation and was again involved in the "Same type of crime. The same nefarious type of operation" for which she had been previously convicted and sentenced. Accordingly, the probationary period and the suspended sentences were revoked and, on April 6, 1962, defendant was resentenced and committed to the aforesaid Women's Reformatory for an indeterminate term not to exceed five years. Parenthetically, we note that in such a proceeding the trial judge was only required to have had reasons to believe the violation charges were true in order ...


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