Over the past several months, New Jersey has initiated a coordinated campaign against professional massage therapists who are suspected of sexually assaulting their clients. Since the beginning of the year, at least five massage therapists have lost their licenses and faced criminal charges.
What exactly are the consequences of getting charged with sexual assault in the state of New Jersey? Do you really need to hire a lawyer if you’re arrested? Get the answers below.
28-Year-Old Massage Therapist Arrested For Sexually Assaulting Customer
On August 2nd, New Jersey police apprehended another massage therapist for allegedly assaulting a second victim. The suspect, 28-year-old Jonathan Higgins, was arrested early in July for the same crime. According to the latest victim, Higgins was working in a professional capacity at the Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa. The client requested a massage but was later horrified when he began assaulting her. Now, Higgins is behind bars again.
Consequences of Sexual Assault Charges in NJ
The New Jersey State Police describe the sexual assault as the act of penetration against a victim who is either incapacitated or coerced into the act. It’s also important to note that New Jersey’s laws are not gender-specific, so a female massage therapist can still be charged with sexual assault. What are the potential consequences of getting charged with sexual assault? Here’s an overview:
- Maximum sentence of 10 years behind bars
- Registration as a sexual offender
- A maximum fine of up to $150,000
If the victim was injured, then you could get charged with aggravated sexual assault. This crime carries a maximum prison sentence of up to 20 years.
How Can an Attorney Help?
Have you or a loved one been charged with sexual assault? If so, then it’s important to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will strive to protect your rights and freedom by ensuring the judge or jury hears your side of things. A lawyer will work hard to get your charges dropped or your penalties reduced. Don’t wager your freedom on the hope that a judge will believe you. Instead, hire representation that will work for you.
Contact An Experienced Camden County Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Sexual Assault Charges In New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with sexual assault in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The Law Office of Jill R. Cohen has successfully represented clients charged with sexual assault in Camden, Cherry Hill, Collingswood, Haddon Heights and throughout New Jersey.
Call (856) 351-5115 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 210 Haddon Avenue, Camden County , NJ 08108.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.