People make mistakes. Unfortunately, that is an intrinsic part of life. When those mistakes have potential criminal consequences, however, the focus often shifts to protecting one’s legal rights while seeking a favorable conclusion to any pending charges. One man accused of sex crimes involving a 10-year-old girl in New Jersey appears to have received favorable consideration from the court after extensive plea negotiations resulted in a guilty plea.

The incident occurred in Oct. 2010, when the girl was 9 years old. The accused man, who is said to be 51 years old, was staying in the victim’s home when he entered the little girl’s room during the night. He was accused of sexually assaulting her and was formally charged with child endangerment, sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault. The details of the incident were not further disclosed. However, it was reported that the man reached an agreement with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to criminal sexual contact in full satisfaction of the indictment returned against him.

The man, a California resident, was sentenced to three years of probation. The judge acknowledged it was a merciful sentence. He indicated that he was convinced the man would not repeat his behavior. Apparently, both the victim and her mother requested mercy. In addition to probation, the man was ordered to register as a sex offender and undergo an evaluation during his term of probation.

Every criminal case is different. Each individual accused deserves fair and impartial treatment before a court. While the details of the plea negotiations in this sex crimes proceeding were not disclosed, the prosecutor noted the family wanted justice but was not vengeful. In sentencing the man, the judge appears to have taken a number of factors into consideration. Arrangements were being made in New Jersey to transfer supervision of the man’s probation to his home state.

Source: The Trentonian, “California man gets probation in NJ sex assault case,” Sherrina V. Navani, Oct. 26, 2012