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State v. Wawro

October 15, 2010

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
GEOFFREY WAWRO, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Gloucester County, Indictment No. 08-06-00495-S.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted September 29, 2010

Before Judges Lihotz and J. N. Harris.

Defendant was indicted by a Gloucester County Grand Jury charging him with two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(a) (counts one and two), and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a) (count three). A jury convicted defendant of only second-degree endangering the welfare of a child. The jury remained deadlocked over the charges in counts one and two, including the lesser-included offenses within each count. Ultimately, without objection, those charges were dismissed. Defendant was sentenced to seven years incarceration subject to Megan's Law, N.J.S.A. 2C:7-1 to -19, including community supervision for life.

On this appeal, defendant argues:

POINT I: THE DEFENSE WAS NOT PROVIDED THE RECORDS FROM THE DIVISION OF YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICES UNTIL DECEMBER 4, 2008, FULLY TWO MONTHS AFTER THE RETURN OF THE JURY'S "VERDICT," THEREFORE DEPRIVING DEFENDANT OF HIS DUE PROCESS RIGHTS.

POINT II: THE TRIAL JUDGE IMPROPERLY ACCEPTED THE "VERDICT" WHEN IN FACT THE JURY WAS STILL AT AN IMPASSE AS TO ALL BUT ONE QUESTION ON THE JURY VERDICT SHEET.

POINT III: THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE THAT DEFENDANT HAD A LEGAL DUTY FOR THE CARE OF THE CHILD OR HAD ASSUMED RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CARE OF THE CHILD, AND THEREFORE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN CONVICTED OF 2ND DEGREE CHILD ENDANGERMENT.

POINT IV: THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE PRESENTED TO THE JURY THAT DEFENDANT "KNEW" THAT SUCH CONDUCT WOULD IMPAIR OR DEBAUCH THE MORALS OF THE CHILD OR THAT SUCH CONDUCT WOULD CAUSE THE CHILD HARM THAT WOULD MAKE THE CHILD ABUSED OR NEGLECTED.

POINT V: THE JURY "VERDICT" WAS INCONSISTENT INSOFAR AS THE JURY COULD NOT REACH A VERDICT AS TO THE FIRST FOUR QUESTIONS BUT STILL FOUND THAT DEFENDANT ENDANGERED THE WELFARE OF THE VICTIM BY KNOWINGLY ENGAGING IN SEXUAL CONDUCT.

We reject these contentions and affirm the ...


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