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State v. Horton

May 19, 2000

STATE OF NEW JERSEY,
PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
V.
PAUL RAYMOND HORTON,
DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Before Judges Brochin and Eichen.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Brochin, J.A.D.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued March 29, 2000

On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Burlington County.

On September 21, 1995, defendant Paul Raymond Horton pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement to a one-count accusation which charged him with third-degree endangering the welfare of a child (N.J.S.A. 2C:24- 4(a)). In providing the factual basis for his plea, defendant, who was then sixty-nine years old, testified that he had touched a girl who was under the age of sixteen in the area of her breasts for the purpose of sexually gratifying himself.

The assistant prosecutor who appeared for the State described the plea agreement with defendant as follows:

[I]n exchange for waiver of indictment and plea of guilty to that . . . one count accusation, it's the State's recommendation that the defendant be sentenced to 364 days in the Burlington County Jail to be served on weekends and also to be placed on probation. The terms and conditions of which would be in . . . the sentencing Court's discretion.

This sentencing recommendation is the same as that stated in the plea form signed by defendant. In response to questions from the judge who took defendant's plea, defendant acknowledged he understood that his plea would subject him to imprisonment for up to five years, to a fine of up to $25,000, and to "certain other requirements that may be imposed upon you by what is commonly known as the Megan's law," including the requirement "to register with the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office." The judge asked defendant's attorney whether he had "go[ne] through this" with defendant. After the attorney assured the court, "Yes, we did," the colloquy between the court and defendant continued as follows:

Q. You understand you're going to have to register?

A. Yes, I understand that.

Q. All right. And that once you have registered, the Prosecutor's Office will make a determination of what level of notification, if any, is necessary?

A. Yes.

Q. And that depending upon what level of . . . notification is necessary, it's possible that community groups and ...


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