On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division.
Approved for Publication May 7, 1997.
Judges Shebell, Long and Humphreys. The opinion of the court was delivered by Humphreys, J.A.D.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Humphreys
The opinion of the court was delivered by
The registrant in this Megan's Law case, see N.J.S.A. 2C:7-1 to -5, objects to his placement in a Tier Two category. Registrants are placed in this category if the risk of re-offense is found to be "moderate." See N.J.S.A. 2C:7-8(c)(3). The order provides that certain schools will be notified. The registrant moves for an order staying notification pending his appeal. This opinion will resolve the merits of the appeal. The registrant's crime occurred after Megan's Law was enacted. Consequently, the federal injunction with respect to notification in pre-Megan's Law cases is not applicable.
The registrant contends that the Judge in finding a moderate risk of re-offense placed excessive reliance upon the Registrant Risk Assessment Scale ("RRAS" or "Scale"). See In re C.A., 146 N.J. 71, 100-10, 679 A.2d 1153 (1996). The registrant argues that the Judge "did not give adequate weight to the fact that his offense involved a consensual act with a 15 year old girl when the registrant was 21 years old and this consensual act is his only sex related offense." The registrant also contends that the Scale fails to include the registrant's psychological profile which the registrant maintains is a necessary consideration in the prosecutor's prima facie case.
We have thoroughly reviewed the record and considered the arguments presented. We conclude that this case falls outside the "heartland" of cases requiring community notification. See In re G.B., 147 N.J. 62, 82, 84-85, 685 A.2d 1252 (1996). The registrant should be placed in Tier One.
A female, aged fifteen years, related to the police that in September 1995, while walking along a street, she was abducted by a male. He showed her a knife, took her to his house and forcibly had sexual relations with her. The next day, she left the house while he was sleeping.
The police went to the registrant's house and arrested him. A small caliber semi-automatic handgun was found on top of the night stand in his room.
The registrant, aged twenty-one, gave a statement to the police in which he said that while he was "hanging out" with his friends on a street corner, he saw a girl, called her over and introduced himself and his friend. She told him that she had run away because she was having problems with her mother and was on her way to see her father in New York. The girl agreed to stay overnight in the registrant's bedroom. She told him she was sixteen or seventeen years old. Later that evening, they had consensual sexual relations. The next morning he went to work. When he returned home, the girl was still in his bedroom. His mother wanted the girl to leave. The registrant and the girl again had consensual sexual relations. The girl then left the house.
The prosecutor presented the matter to the grand jury. The prosecutor read to the grand jury the statements of the victim and the registrant. He advised the grand jury regarding the offenses of aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, endangering the welfare of a child, possessing a handgun without a permit to purchase, and receiving stolen property, namely, the handgun. The victim did not appear. She and her family had apparently moved out of New Jersey.
The grand jury indicted the registrant for: (1) sexual assault, (2) criminal sexual assault, (3) endangering the welfare of a child, (4) receiving stolen property, and (5) ...