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State of New Jersey v. Stanford T. Armstead

December 7, 2010

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
STANFORD T. ARMSTEAD, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Cumberland County, Indictment No. 06-04-328.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted November 17, 2010 - Decided Before Judges R. B. Coleman and J. N. Harris.

Defendant Stanford T. Armstead was charged by a Cumberland County Grand Jury with first-degree aggravated sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(a)(1) (count one); second-degree sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(b) (count two); third-degree endangering the welfare of a child, N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a) (count three); and fourth-degree lewdness, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-4(a)(1) (count four). Counts two and four were dismissed by the State, and defendant was tried on the remaining charges in October 2007, but the jury could not reach a verdict.

Defendant's case was retried in May 2008, before Judge John

M. Waters, Jr. and a jury. This time, the jury returned a verdict acquitting defendant of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, but found him guilty of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child. Judge Waters found defendant eligible for an extended-term as a persistent offender, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:44-3(a), and imposed an eight-year term of imprisonment with four years of parole ineligibility. Defendant appeals from this conviction and sentence.

On appeal, defendant raises the following two points:

POINT I: THE TRIAL JUDGE ERRED IN FAILING TO DEFINE THE TERM "SEXUAL CONDUCT" AS PART OF THE CHARGE OF ENDANGERING THE WELFARE OF A CHILD AND IN READING THE UNINDICTED PORTION OF THE STATUTE TO THE JURY. (Not Raised Below)

POINT II: THE DEFENDANT'S SENTENCE IS EXCESSIVE.

Finding no merit in either of defendant's claims, we affirm. R. 2:11-3(e)(2). We add only the following comments.

I. The one-day trial saw the production of only two witnesses: A.C., the victim, and Millville Police Officer Bruce Cornish. Their testimony revealed the following to the jury. In February 2005, A.C., then twelve-years old, was visiting her older sister, K.C., in Millville. After retiring for the night, A.C. was awakened by defendant, K.C.'s boyfriend, who was grabbing at her arm. Defendant then removed A.C.'s pants and inserted his penis into her vagina. Defendant also forced A.C. to engage in fellatio and licked her vagina.

Approximately three weeks after this incident, A.C. first told a friend what had happened. A.C.'s friend told her aunt, who in turn notified A.C.'s mother. On March 15, 2005, A.C. was brought to Fam Care in Millville where she was medically examined. A nurse at Fam Care notified the Millville police of the situation that day.

Officer Cornish spoke with A.C. and her mother at police headquarters. After their conversation, Officer Cornish contacted the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office, which immediately resulted in A.C., her mother, and Officer Cornish ...


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