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State v. Sumulikoski

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

June 27, 2013

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
MICHAEL SUMULIKOSKI, Defendant-Appellant. STATE OF NEW JERSEY, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
ARTUR SOPEL, Defendant-Appellant.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued April 30, 2013

On appeal from an interlocutory order of Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County, Indictment No. 11-12-2152.

Philip DeVencentes argued the cause for appellant Michael Sumulikoski (Galantucci & Patuto, attorneys; Mr. DeVencentes, on the briefs).

Alan L. Zegas argued the cause for appellant Artur Sopel (Law Offices of Alan L. Zegas and Flood & Basile, attorneys; Mr. Zegas, on the briefs; Raymond F. Flood and Terel L. Klein, on the briefs).

Catherine A. Foddai, Assistant Prosecutor, argued the cause for respondent (John L. Molinelli, Bergen County Prosecutor, attorney; Kenneth Ralph, Senior Assistant Prosecutor, of counsel; David A. Malfitano, Assistant Prosecutor, on the brief).

Before Judges Alvarez, Waugh and St. John.

PER CURIAM

Pursuant to leave granted, defendants Michael Sumulikoski and Artur Sopel appeal a Law Division order denying each defendant's motion to dismiss the indictment. Defendants contend that the alleged wrongful acts occurred outside New Jersey's borders and therefore the State lacks territorial jurisdiction over the counts of the indictment relating to those acts. We consolidate the matters, and now affirm.

I.

The record discloses the following facts and procedural history leading to the determination under review.

On December 21, 2011, Bergen County Indictment S-2152-11 charged Sumulikoski with three counts of second-degree sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(c)(3)(b) (Counts Two, Three, and Four); one count of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual contact, N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a) (Count One); and two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a) (Counts Five and Six), by allowing Sopel to perform unlawful acts in the presence of the victim.

Sopel was charged with six counts of second-degree sexual assault, involving two victims, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(c)(3)(b) (Counts Eight, Nine, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, and Sixteen); and two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual contact N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a) (Counts Seven and Twelve).[1]

Sumulikoski and Sopel were both employed at Paramus Catholic High School. Sopel was vice president of operations, and Sumulikoski was a permanent substitute teacher and an athletic coach. At the time of the conduct underlying the indictments, Sopel was twenty-eight years old and Sumulikoski was thirty-one years old. The victims were students at the ...


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