If You or Someone You Know Seeks to Terminate Their Megan’s Law Obligations or Community Supervision for Life
Appellate Docket No.: A-2560-19
Decided October 28, 2021
Submitted by New Jersey Sex Crime Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.
In a recent unpublished opinion, the Appellate Division of New Jersey reviewed a denial of a motion to terminate obligations under Megan’s Law.
In S.G., In 1997, a fifteen-year-old girl reported that, over the past three years, S.G. had repeatedly sexually assaulted her. The victim had been a tennis student at a club where S.G. worked as a coach. The assaults included repeated acts of fondling, oral sex, and sexual intercourse.
In March 1998, S.G. pled guilty to one count of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(a). He was evaluated at the Adult Diagnostic Treatment Center at Avenel (the ADTC) and found to be eligible for sentencing under the Sex Offender Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:47-1 to -10, because his “actions towards [the] victim [had been] performed both repetitively and compulsively.” Accordingly, in July 1998, S.G. was sentenced to eight years to be served at the ADTC. He was also sentenced to requirements under Megan’s Law and CSL.
In April 2003, S.G. was released from ADTC. Shortly thereafter, he was evaluated in accordance with Megan’s Law as a Tier II offender with a score of forty-eight on the Registrant Risk Assessment Scale. In October 2003, an order was entered memorializing his Tier II registration and directing community notification and internet publication. The CSL was supervised by the Division of Parole within the State Parole Board. See N.J.A.C. 10A:71-1.1 and -6.11.
Following his release from the ADTC, defendant sought permission to resume teaching tennis to minors. That permission was granted under restrictions that ensured parents were present during the lessons and aware of S.G.’s conviction and Megan’s Law obligations.
Since his release, S.G. has not been convicted of any new criminal offenses. He has also not been found to have violated any of his restrictions or requirements under Megan’s Law or CSL. His CSL record, however, includes numerous instances where S.G. failed to comply with CSL or Megan’s Law, but he was not formally charged with violations.
S.G. made an application to terminate his obligations under Megan’s Law. He was evaluated by a doctor of his own choosing and one from the State. Both experts concluded S.G. had a low risk of reoffense.
The trial court denied S.G.’s motion that despite the conclusions from the doctors, great weight was given to multiple parole infractions between 2008 and 2018. She reviewed fifteen instances that included S.G. getting his hair cut at a children’s salon; S.G. admitting that he did not stay at an approved residence on several nights; S.G. going to New York without permission from Parole to leave the state; S.G. using tennis courts at a high school to teach tennis lessons; S.G. attending a summer sports camp that used tennis courts at Monmouth University’s campus; S.G. lying to Parole about his location when he was stopped by local police after he had been at a bar with friends; and S.G. admitting to Parole that he did not inform them about his ongoing involvement with a sports camp that predominately catered to minors because he knew they would not give him permission to do so.
S.G. appealed and the Appellate Division found no abuse of discretion, affirming the trial court’s denial.
This case is important to understand a registrant may apply to terminate the obligations under Megan’s Law “upon proof that the person has not committed an offense within [fifteen] years following conviction or release from a correctional facility . . . and is not likely to pose a threat to the safety of others.” N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2(f). “Relief from Megan’s Law registration may be granted upon proof by a preponderance of the evidence that a person is not likely to pose a threat to the safety of others.” In re J.M., 440 N.J. Super. 107, 116 (Law. Div. 2014). Similarly, an applicant may seek to terminate Community Supervision for Life, but there is a higher standard of showing clear and convincing evidence that they do not pose a threat to safety to others.
If you or someone you know seeks to terminate their Megan’s Law obligations or Community Supervision for Life, or have been charged with any indictable offense or disorderly persons involving a search and/or questioning of police, contact the experienced attorney at Hark & Hark to ensure you are adequately defended, otherwise you could have negative impacts on your case like the defendant above.
At Hark & Hark, we represent clients in Superior Court for criminal matters like the present case. We vigorously defend our clients by fighting to uphold their constitutional rights, and ensure law enforcement follow proper procedures to legally make an arrest.
We offer payment plan options to clients financially incapable of providing full payment upfront. If you are facing criminal charges similar to this circumstance, please call us to discuss the matter. At Hark & Hark, we represent clients for any case in any county in New Jersey including Atlantic County, Bergen County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Essex County, Gloucester County, Hudson County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County, Passaic County, Salem County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County, and Warren County and any town including Barnegat Township, Barnegat Light Borough, Bay Head Borough, Beach Haven Borough, Beachwood Borough, Berkeley Township, Brick Township, Eagleswood Township, Harvey Cedars Borough, Island Heights Borough, Jackson Township, Lacey Township, Lakehurst Borough, Lakewood Township, Lavallette Borough, Little Egg Harbor Township, Long Beach Township, Manchester Township, Mantoloking Borough, Ocean Gate Borough, Ocean Township, Pine Beach Borough, Plumsted Township, Point Pleasant Beach Borough, Point Pleasant Borough, Seaside Heights Borough, Seaside Park Borough, Ship Bottom Borough, South Toms River Borough, Surf City Borough, Stafford Township, Toms River Township, and Tuckerton Borough.