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Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found “not guilty” of all charges.


Aggravated Sexual Assault: What Does This Charge Really Mean in New Jersey?

New Jersey’s aggravated sexual assault charge is actually the state’s worst sexual assault charge for a number of reasons. If you are convicted of this first degree crime, you will forever be listed on the national sex offender registry. Your reputation and ability to hold or obtain employment may be severely compromised.

It’s not unusual to hear about potential employers who do routine backgrounds checks failing to  hire a person with an aggravated sexual assault charge on their record. Most people assume the charge automatically involved sex with a minor because aggravated sexual assault is an umbrella charge given to people who are accused of one of many different actions, several of which involve minors. Moreover, aggravated assault also has extremely violent connotations.

According to New Jersey State law, prosecutors must prove a person guilty of aggravated assault did one of the following:

  • Sexually penetrate a minor under the age of 13
  • Sexually penetrate a minor between the ages of 13 and 16 whom they were supposed to be watching over
  • Sexually penetrate someone while also committing a crime along the lines of robbery, kidnapping, homicide, arson or criminal escape
  • Be armed with a weapon or object fashioned into a weapon and threaten the sexual assault victim
  • Be helped by other people in forcing the victim into sexual penetration
  • Used physical force or coercion that resulted in the sexual assault victim sustaining serious injuries
  • Commit an act of sexual penetration with someone who was clearly unable to give consent due to helplessness, incapacitation or special needs

Make no mistake about it – aggravated sexual assault is a criminal charge that can ruin your life, as well as the lives of your loved ones. Rumors and whispers will follow you wherever you go, making daily living extremely unpleasant.

If you or a loved one is being charged with aggravated sexual assault, you need a highly experienced lawyer who know how to defend your rights in court. Atlantic City, NJ-based criminal defense lawyer John W. Tumelty is a former prosecutor who knows the laws and how the other side thinks. Contact him today for a free consultation about your charges.  


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South Jersey criminal defense lawyer John W. Tumelty is conveniently located in Atlantic City, NJ. He serves clients in Atlantic, Ocean, Gloucester and Cape May counties and the Jersey Shore, including: Absecon, Atlantic City, Avalon, Brigantine, Buena, Cape May, Egg Harbor City, Egg Harbor Township, Estell Manor, Folsom, Galloway Township, Hamilton Township, Hammonton, Linwood, Longport, Margate, Mullica Township, Northfield, Pleasantville, Port Republic, Somers Point, Ventnor,  and Waymouth.