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State v. Thompson

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

December 17, 2013

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
LARRY THOMPSON, Defendant-Appellant.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted October 29, 2013

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County, Indictment No. 05-02-0320.

Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney for appellant (Susan R. Bohrod, Designated Counsel, on the brief).

John L. Molinelli, Bergen County Prosecutor, attorney for respondent (Catherine A. Foddai, Senior Assistant Prosecutor, of counsel and on the brief).

Before Judges Reisner and Alvarez.

PER CURIAM.

Defendant Larry Thompson appeals the January 9, 2012 Law Division order denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.

A jury found defendant guilty of six counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(a)(2)(b), eight counts of second-degree sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(b) and 2(c)(3), four counts of third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3(a), two counts of third-degree child endangering, N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a) and eight counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3(b). On March 3, 2006, the trial court sentenced defendant to an aggregate term of fifty years imprisonment with twenty-five years of parole ineligibility. On appeal, we affirmed the judgment of conviction. State v. Thompson, A-3962-05 (App. Div. August 27, 2010). The Supreme Court denied certification. State v. Thompson, 205 N.J. 80 (2011).

On February 22, 2011, defendant filed a timely pro se PCR petition. Counsel subsequently filed a brief and presented oral argument on his behalf.

Defendant's convictions resulted from his ongoing sexual conduct toward C.F. and M.F., sisters who participated in dance lessons and dance competition team activities at his schools of instruction over a number of years. At trial, the victims testified that defendant's sexual abuse began when they were approximately eleven or twelve years old. M.F. stopped dancing when she was approximately eighteen or nineteen years old, and C.F. stopped about a year later at about the same age.

C.F. first approached the authorities regarding the offenses in 2002, and reported that her older sister may have been molested as well. At the time of trial, M.F. was twenty-four years old, and C.F., twenty-three.

M.F. and C.F. also testified, among other things, that they and their parents had agreed to turn over to defendant any money they earned for performing at private parties and events to pay towards the expenses of the dance studio. Both women, on direct and cross-examination, acknowledged they resented the arrangement. In addition to this issue, the victims were cross-examined regarding the strict lifestyle rules defendant imposed upon his students about subjects such as diet, exercise, and recreational drug usage.

During the trial, defendant testified he terminated M.F. from the team and the school because of complaints, when she was approximately a junior or senior in high school, that she was publicly engaging in improper conduct. He claimed that C.F. left the following year because he refused to allow M.F. back into the program. Defendant confirmed that students were not paid, as all the money ...


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