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State v. J.W.G.

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

October 2, 2013

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
J.W.G., Defendant-Appellant.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted September 24, 2013

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Camden County, Indictment Nos. 02-11-3935 and 03-08-2815.

J.W.G., appellant pro se.

Warren W. Faulk, Camden County Prosecutor, attorney for respondent (Robin A. Hamett, Assistant Prosecutor, of counsel and on the brief).

Before Judges Reisner and Ostrer.

PER CURIAM

Defendant J.W.G.[1] appeals from a March 23, 2011 order denying a motion to withdraw his guilty plea. We affirm, substantially for the reasons stated by Judge Edward J. McBride, Jr., in his letter opinion dated March 23, 2011.

The background of this case was discussed at length in our prior opinion affirming the denial of defendant's first petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). State v. J.W.G., Docket No. A-0302-09 (App. Div. May 12, 2011). To summarize, in 2003, defendant pled guilty to first-degree aggravated sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2a(1), and was sentenced to twelve years in prison, subject to the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2. He also pled guilty to bail jumping and received a four-year term, to be served consecutive to the sexual assault sentence.

Defendant filed his first PCR petition in 2007, raising a variety of issues including a challenge to his sentence. The trial court denied the petition and we affirmed. See J.W.G., supra, slip op. at 7-9. In "correspondence" dated March 8, 2011, defendant contended that his sentence was "illegal" because his plea allocution was insufficient to establish a factual basis to convict him of first-degree aggravated sexual assault.[2] Judge McBride treated defendant's filing as an application to withdraw his guilty plea. He concluded that defendant pled guilty to forcing the child victim to perform fellatio on him, which established a sufficient factual basis for the conviction. See N.J.S.A. 2C:14-1c; N.J.S.A. 2C:14- 2a(1). He found no basis to permit defendant to withdraw his guilty plea.

On this appeal, defendant states that he does not want to withdraw his guilty plea. Rather, he seeks to be re-sentenced to a lesser prison term, arguing that his plea allocution would only support a conviction of second-degree sexual assault or third-degree sexual contact. This argument is without sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(2). As previously noted, we affirm for the reasons stated by Judge McBride.

Affirmed.


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