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NJ: Sex Offender Cannot Use Mistaken Age Defense

A former Cape May business owner who claimed a 13-year-old boy, with whom he had a sexual encounter, lied about his age cannot use that as a defense at trial, Appellate Court judges decided May 31.  Full Article

Related

http://law.justia.com/cases/new-jersey/appellate-division-unpublished/2017/a0741-15.html

Grindr not liable for man’s sex encounter with minor, federal judge rules

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  1. mike r

    ain’t this something
    Judges Francis Vernoia and Scott Moynihan rejected Saponaro’s motion to present at trial that he was reasonably mistaken about the victim’s age.
    real fair trial huh…can’t submit or use contractual agreements that states you must be of legal age to consent to a contractual agreement i.e. 18 in the Good ol US OF A, cant present other conversations you had with the so called victim that could help exonerate you, can’t even have access to your hard drive for mitigating circumstances or to prove factual impossibility claims, on and on..Fair trials my assssssss.

  2. mike r

    oh yeah almost forgot you aren’t entitled to an attorney when you appeal to the federal courts…and they make it virtually impossible to know how to apply for certification for the federal appeals court. 9th circuit probably would have overturned my convictions if I could have gotten it in front of them.

  3. Nondescript

    The problem is that some 17yr olds look like 25 and some 30 yr olds look like 16 yr olds. At some point in the near future people will be vetted and required to register to date someone from a government outsourced dating pool. Fingerprints, electronic health records, and financial information will all be on file. Hooking up with anyone for a brief liaison will be outlawed. The laws are incrementally moving in that direction.

    • DPH

      Nondescript-may be the way of the future, no private enterprise, but legal I guess, maybe the AGES will be correct and trustable before actions taken. Interesting view you might have here. I’ve seen 6;2″ dudes that were only 14-16 and looked 22-25, but were NOT of age. Lots of gays were punitively punished this way.
      May not be like this NJ’s man’s story though. under 14. Bad Luck.

  4. i can't wait to die

    just to let you know in Florida if a person is in a bar drinking, has fake id signs a paper stating they are a certain age tells you they are of certain age, etc… and they end up being under age you are prohibited from using any of those lies, misrepresenting, etc… as a defense or even bringing in up in front of a jury

    • New Person

      So mistaken identity if underage is no defense. Therefore, why can’t mistaken identity be used for defense if a police officer pretends to be underage, but actually is of age? There is no crime if the person is actually of age. So these stings are sting to get adults to hook up with actual adults???

      It reminds me of the movie “A Few Good Men.” Two lawyers are discussing a case at a baseball field. The DA side was gonna put the harshest punishment possible. The defense said no. The DA rebuttal was that he was going to buy marijuana. The said, while swinging a softball bat, “He was buying a bag of oregano. My client’s a moron and that’s not against the law.”

      • Joe

        Yes, indeed… if you have a relationship with a lying underage person you get punished for the real thing in spite of what you believe. If you have a relationship with an adult faking to be an underage person you get punished for what you believe, in spite of the real thing. Either way, you get punished. I find that very strange.

        Just like a same age person can be a child victim of child sexual abuse on the very same day they can be an adult defendant for any number of offenses.

        This country’s approach to “children” and sex is bizarre.

    • Harry

      I work as a cashier in a service station/food mart. When purchasing aged restricted products I can ask anyone for proof of ID, if that person do not have ID or a questionable one, I do not have to sell them, even they look 65. I just had a individual, whom said he been working at local restaurant for over 18 months and wanted to buy some beer and he give me a Idaho ID, I refuse to sell to him, because he should of had a California ID and he looked under 21. He got angry at me saying “his Idaho ID was real” than I said, okay I will get a police officer come down here to confirm your ID and you will be able to buy. He rushed out store.

  5. Nicholas Maietta

    If a store sells an alcoholic beverage to a minor, regardless of intent, they lose their liquor license and are heavily fined. An anonymous underground website known as Silk Road was linking drug users to drug sellers were busted and arrested. If you drink too much and don’t make a good choice while under the influence and end up driving against better judgement, and end up killing or hurting someone, you are still held accountable. Yet when a sex-encounter oriented website assists a man in making sexual contact with a child, they are not somehow responsible in some way?

    Grindr is in the business of helping to connect random people up for sex. They have a responsibility to at least vette it’s users to ensure they stay within the confines of any law where their users are. If they don’t, they should be held at least somewhat accountable.

    • DPH

      Yes Nicholas, they should be partly to blame, you’re going to be surprised if they started this APP and NOT thought of the liars/fakers on age for using the app and only not being held responsible??? I agree with you , they have to fall for some of this or they will continue and THEY KNEW when making this App this was going to happen and knew how close it could be that minors could sign in there and use it. Minor or not. Right.

  6. PJ

    Yup Yup…this was exactly with my case. Lied about her age and everything. Even know and met a few people during my probation time with this type of situation(with fake IDs and all) . But in Florida, the statute is very clear on that. Even says it in big capital letters. “Ignorance of victims age is not a defense”. I had solid physical proof on paper that not only did she lied to me about her age, but she was even doing it again online during my trial. lol. with another profile and to another person. I had an old friend of mine who was a private investigator at the time tail her online and we caught her. I printed it and made 10 copies to present to the court during my trial. They wanted to give me 7 years in prison but because of that evidence, the judge took it into consideration, he gave me 9 months in jail, 5 years probation and a lifetime club membership on the registry. This was about 8 years ago. But I remember then, that there about 20 states or so with similar statutes. Some states back then would of probably thrown the case out with that evidence. —- maybe.

    • AJ

      As I’ve posted many times, there was a case in MN where the attorney was able to have a judge declare the “mistake of age is no defense” idea unconstitutional. He argued that it took away the fundamental right of the accused to mount a defense–which of course it does.

      –AJ

  7. Cool CA RC

    Remember Tracy Lords who was only 14 when she did her porn movies.
    The producer did show the court her fake ID and I am now wondering how they got away with this if you can’t use this excuse.

    • American Detained in America

      Probably because the DA prosecuting and the judge presiding over the case had watched her porn or even owned some of the videos with her in them and didn’t want to be charged with child pornography.

    • DPH

      Look at the officers in the Bay Area who some from diff dept’s had it or times with a minor and NOW only a couple of them are getting sentenced, and ARE THEY gonna be SO’s ? Why wasn’t she punished as she was the one selling herself or for her boss? What about the Trafficker? You’d think they’d check ID’s are run her before hand…did they trust the 1st one that passed her on to the others? It’s all about checking and verifying the date of birth and being responsible. When this guy used Grindner like the glbt’s and Tinder-like, you check and verify ID’s and can see why Grinder is not liable, but they should be held accountable for the minor not verifying online and clause for not following the law using the phone app. More issues like this are to follow.

  8. mike r

    the big picture here is that a ffffing judge decides what can and can’t be presented at trial and in my case rebutted any thing that could possibly be in my favor. i.e. contractual agreement, on adult sites, other conversations relevant to the alleged crime, video from store showing time stamp of leaving 15 minutes before meeting was to take place which would exonerate me of an attempt, if you claim you’re going to murder someone show up with a gun turn around leave because you came to your r senses you can not be prosecuted as attempted murder, same thing in my case. non of it allowed during trial no objections by public pretenders no second chances..total kangaroo court…

  9. Joe

    In most jurisdictions, “statutory rape” is a strict liability crime. Either the person is of age or not. Of course, it is a strict liability crime unless someone is entrapped by a 40 year old cop posing as a 15 year old girl on line. Then we have intent and attempt where belief re age is a critical factor. Funny how the law works, no?

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