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State v. C.J.

April 8, 2010

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
C.J., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, Indictment No. 96-01-0065.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted March 10, 2010

Before Judges Graves, Sabatino, and J. N. Harris.

This is an appeal from the denial of defendant's application for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.

In 1997, defendant was convicted by a jury of seven counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(a); seven counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4; and seven counts of fourth-degree child abuse, N.J.S.A. 9:6-3. The criminal events that gave rise to the indictment spanned from 1993 to 1995. The unfortunate victim of defendant's criminality was his own daughter, who was between twelve and fourteen years of age at the pertinent times.

Judge Robert Neustadter sentenced defendant to an aggregate term of incarceration of forty years, including twenty years of parole ineligibility. Defendant initially filed a direct appeal, which resulted in the affirmance of his convictions. State v. C.J., No. A-7516-97 (App. Div. Nov. 10, 1999), certif. denied, 163 N.J. 76 (2000).

On October 24, 2000, defendant filed his first PCR application. Subsequently, defendant sought to withdraw that same application, which Judge Neustadter granted without prejudice at a hearing on May 19, 2001. It was not until several years later, on February 23, 2006, that defendant re-filed an application for PCR. Counsel was assigned to represent defendant at this time, and both PCR counsel and defendant filed briefs; the State responded to both. On April 15, 2008, Judge Neustadter heard arguments on defendant's application. A written opinion was issued by the court on May 19, 2008, which denied all requested relief. Although the judge determined that defendant's application was time barred by the five-year limit contained in Rule 3:22-12(a),*fn1 he nevertheless fully analyzed defendant's claims, concluding that they merited neither an evidentiary hearing nor any post conviction relief. This appeal ensued.

On appeal, defendant makes the following points:

POINT I. THE LOWER COURT MUST BE REVERSED SINCE DEFENDANT RECEIVED INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF TRIAL COUNSEL.

A. Trial counsel failed to present the testimony of an expert concerning the untruthfulness of the complaining witness.

B. Trial counsel failed to investigate and present essential witnesses at trial.

C. Trial counsel failed to demand a hearing to determine the admissibility of fresh complaint evidence and failed to object to ...


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