On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Mercer County, 02-05-0671-I.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Coburn and Gilroy.
On a multi-count indictment, defendant pled guilty to second-degree aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)(1) (count two), and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4 (count seven). In accordance with the plea agreement, the remaining counts were dismissed, and the trial judge sentenced defendant to an aggregate term of five years in prison, with an eighty-five percent parole ineligibility term pursuant to the No Early Release Act.
Defendant appeals, contending that his guilty plea must be vacated because he never provided a factual basis for the charges to which he pled guilty. When entering the plea, defendant asserted that he had no recollection of the events on which the criminal charges were based. Consequently, this aspect of the plea began with the prosecutor reading from the police report as follows:
Your Honor, if I may, just reading from the police report, and ask the defendant if he would not dispute the fact that on January 27th of 2002, he was in East Windsor, particularly, at the wife -- at the home of his wife, [M.L.]; is that correct?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes, it was my in-laws, yes.
MS. GEURDS: Your in-law's home, where was that?
THE DEFENDANT: East Windsor.
MS. GEURDS: Where was that?
THE DEFENDANT: I guess it's . . . [E.] Drive.
MS. GEURDS: And at approximately 5:00 p.m., [M.L.] went upstairs to take a shower, and the defendant was standing outside the shower stall talking to her and watching the baby, [C.L.] who was one year old. While the defendant was watching the baby, the victim, [M.L.] was inside taking the shower and [M.L.] asked ...