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Plainfield NJ Sexual Assault Charges Filed Against Teacher

Sexual Assault Defense Lawyers in Union County New Jersey

A former high school art teacher was arrested this week on charges of sexually assaulting a student. The incidents underlying the charges occurred in 2015. The accused, Joshua Green, 33, taught at Mahwah High School until the end of the school year in 2016. Specifically, he taught “Design & Illustration,” “Portfolio Development,” and “Art 1” at Mahwah High School for three years.

Union County sexual assault offenses, including second degree sexual assault and first degree sexual assault charges arising in Plainfield NJ, are dealt with at the Superior Court in Elizabeth NJ.News reports indicate that Green is currently employed as a graphic design teacher for the visual arts program at Plainfield Academy for the Arts and Advanced Studies. The Plainfield School District, however, has notified the press that Green has been placed on administrative leave since his arrest, and the district will review the criminal charges when deciding what action to take, if any, with regard to his employment. Green has not been back to the school since his arrest last week.

Green is married. However, it appears that in 2015 he engaged in sexual relations with a 17-year-old student, gave that student alcohol, and had daily conversations with the student via Google Chat. Green was the student’s art teacher.

The charges against Green are second-degree sexual assault, second-degree official misconduct, and third-degree endangering the welfare of a child. He is currently released on bail. If convicted, Green faces a possible 25 years in prison, parole supervision for life, and registration as a sex offender under Megan’s Law. The case is being prosecuted by the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, because Green is from Clifton and the incidents occurred in his home.

Sexual Assault Offense in Union County

Green allegedly committed sexual assault based on the allegations that he had sexual intercourse with a 17 year old. New Jersey’s law on sexual assault can be found in the New Jersey’s Criminal Code at N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(c). Under that statute, a person is guilty of sexual assault if he commits an act of sexual penetration with another person, and one of the following circumstances is present:

1. Force or coercion: The actor used force or coercion, and the victim did not sustain severe personal injury.

2. Victim under supervision: The victim is on probation or parole, or is detained in a hospital, prison or other institution; and the actor has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of the actor’s legal, professional or occupational status.

3. Victim between 16 and 18 years old. The victim is at least 16 but less than 18 years old, and the actor (i) is related to the victim by blood; (ii) has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim; or (iii) is a caregiver or guardian of the victim.

4. Victim between 13 and 16 years old. The victim is at least 13 but less than 16 years old, and the actor is at least 4 years older than the victim.

In the Green case, it is likely that his conduct falls under number 2 and/or 3 above. Green, as the 17-year-old’s teacher, has some supervisory authority over the student by virtue of his employment, and the student was between 16 and 18 years old.

Sexual contact with someone under 13 years old. It is also considered sexual assault, under N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(b), if a person commits an act of sexual contact with a victim who is less than 13 years old, and the actor is at least four years older than the victim. Only sexual contact, not sexual penetration, is required for this type of sexual assault. “Sexual contact” means touching, directly or through clothing, the intimate parts (e.g., sexual organs, genital area) of a person.

Penalties for Sexual Assault. Sexual assault is second-degree crime. The penalty for a second-degree crime like sexual assault includes 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000. A conviction for sexual assault also triggers registration requirements under Megan’s Law, which could last well beyond other punishments imposed for the offense.

Elizabeth NJ Sexual Assault Defense Lawyers

Sexual assault charges are serious, could lead to substantial life-long penalties, and also carry a severe stigma. Here at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our defense lawyers understand what is at stake in an Elizabeth sexual assault case, including a charge arising in Plainfield New Jersey. That is why every attorney at our firm makes sure to analyze all the facts of your case, review all possible evidentiary and constitutional challenges available, and carefully develop a defense strategy that will get the best possible outcome for your case. We take seriously the proposition that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. A lawyer on our team is ready to fight for you in court, and we will make sure that you are comfortable with the defense every step of the way. Call us to learn more about what we can do for your case. Our number is 908-272-1700, and attorneys are available 24/7 to speak with you.