Bill Text: NJ S3572 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Requires person convicted, or fleeing charge, of sex offense in foreign country to register under Megan's Law; requires law enforcement to inquire about immigration status of sex offenders and cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 3-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-07 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Law and Public Safety Committee [S3572 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S3572-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 3572

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MARCH 7, 2019

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  JOSEPH PENNACCHIO

District 26 (Essex, Morris and Passaic)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires person convicted, or fleeing charge, of sex offense in foreign country to register under Megan's Law; requires law enforcement to inquire about immigration status of sex offenders and cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act concerning sex offenders, amending P.L.1994, c.133, and supplementing Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 2 of P.L.1994, c.133 (C.2C:7-2) is amended to read as follows:

     2.    a.   (1)   A person who has been convicted, adjudicated delinquent or found not guilty by reason of insanity for commission of a sex offense as defined in subsection b. of this section shall register as provided in subsections c. and d. of this section.

     (2)   A person who in another jurisdiction is required to register as a sex offender and (a) is enrolled on a full-time or part-time basis in any public or private educational institution in this State, including any secondary school, trade or professional institution, institution of higher education or other post-secondary school, or (b) is employed or carries on a vocation in this State, on either a full-time or a part-time basis, with or without compensation, for more than 14 consecutive days or for an aggregate period exceeding 30 days in a calendar year, shall register in this State as provided in subsections c. and d. of this section.

     (3)   A person who fails to register as required under this act shall be guilty of a crime of the third degree.

      b.   For the purposes of this act a sex offense shall include the following:

     (1)   Aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, kidnapping pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:13-1 or an attempt to commit any of these crimes if the court found that the offender's conduct was characterized by a pattern of repetitive, compulsive behavior, regardless of the date of the commission of the offense or the date of conviction;

     (2)   A conviction, adjudication of delinquency, or acquittal by reason of insanity for aggravated sexual assault; sexual assault; aggravated criminal sexual contact; kidnapping pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:13-1; endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child pursuant to subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:24-4; endangering the welfare of a child pursuant to paragraph (3) or (4), subparagraph (a), or sub-subparagraph (i) or (ii) of subparagraph (b) of paragraph (5) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:24-4; luring or enticing pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1993, c.291 (C.2C:13-6); criminal sexual contact pursuant to [N.J.S.2C:14-3b.] subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:14-3 if the victim is a minor; kidnapping pursuant to N.J.S.2C:13-1, criminal restraint pursuant to N.J.S.2C:13-2, or false imprisonment pursuant to N.J.S.2C:13-3 if the victim is a minor and the offender is not the parent of the victim; knowingly promoting prostitution of a child pursuant to paragraph (3) or paragraph (4) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:34-1; leader of a child pornography network pursuant to section 8 of P.L.2017, c.141 (C.2C:24-4.1); or an attempt to commit any of these enumerated offenses if the conviction, adjudication of delinquency or acquittal by reason of insanity is entered on or after the effective date of this act or the offender is serving a sentence of incarceration, probation, parole or other form of community supervision as a result of the offense or is confined following acquittal by reason of insanity or as a result of civil commitment on the effective date of this act;

     (3)   A conviction, adjudication of delinquency, or acquittal by reason of insanity for an offense similar to any offense enumerated in paragraph (2) or a sentence on the basis of criteria similar to the criteria set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection entered or imposed under the laws of the United States, this State, or another state; or a charge, except when the charge was dismissed or the person was found not guilty, conviction, adjudication of delinquency, or acquittal by reason of insanity for an offense similar to any offense enumerated in paragraph (2) or a sentence on the basis of criteria similar to the criteria set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection entered or imposed under the laws of any foreign government.

     (4)   Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of this subsection, a sex offense shall not include an adjudication of delinquency for endangering the welfare of a child pursuant to paragraph (4) or (5) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:24-4, provided that the actor demonstrates that:

     (a)   the facts of the case are limited to the creation, exhibition or distribution of a photograph depicting nudity or portraying a child in a sexually suggestive manner, as defined in N.J.S.2C:24-4, through the use of an electronic communications device, an interactive wireless communications device, or a computer;

     (b)   the creator and subject of the photograph are juveniles or were juveniles at the time of its making; and

     (c)   the subject of the photograph whose nudity is depicted or who is portrayed in a sexually suggestive manner, as the case may be, knowingly consented to the making of the photograph.

      c.    A person required to register under the provisions of this act shall do so on forms to be provided by the designated registering agency as follows:

     (1)   A person who is required to register and who is under supervision in the community on probation, parole, furlough, work release, or a similar program, shall register at the time the person is placed under supervision or no later than 120 days after the effective date of this act, whichever is later, in accordance with procedures established by the Department of Corrections, the Department of Human Services, the Juvenile Justice Commission established pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1995, c.284 (C.52:17B-170) or the Administrative Office of the Courts, whichever is responsible for supervision;

     (2)   A person confined in a correctional or juvenile facility or involuntarily committed who is required to register shall register prior to release in accordance with procedures established by the Department of Corrections, the Department of Human Services or the Juvenile Justice Commission and, within 48 hours of release, shall also register with the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality in which the person resides or, if the municipality does not have a local police force, the Superintendent of State Police;

     (3)   A person moving to or returning to this State from another jurisdiction shall register with the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality in which the person will reside or, if the municipality does not have a local police force, the Superintendent of State Police within 120 days of the effective date of this act or 10 days of first residing in or returning to a municipality in this State, whichever is later;

     (4)   A person required to register on the basis of a conviction prior to the effective date who is not confined or under supervision on the effective date of this act shall register within 120 days of the effective date of this act with the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality in which the person will reside or, if the municipality does not have a local police force, the Superintendent of State Police;

     (5)   A person who in another jurisdiction is required to register as a sex offender and who is enrolled on a full-time or part-time basis in any public or private educational institution in this State, including any secondary school, trade or professional institution, institution of higher education or other post-secondary school shall, within [ten] 10 days of commencing attendance at such educational institution, register with the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality in which the educational institution is located or, if the municipality does not have a local police force, the Superintendent of State Police;

     (6)   A person who in another jurisdiction is required to register as a sex offender and who is employed or carries on a vocation in this State, on either a full-time or a part-time basis, with or without compensation, for more than 14 consecutive days or for an aggregate period exceeding 30 days in a calendar year, shall, within [ten] 10 days after commencing such employment or vocation, register with the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality in which the employer is located or where the vocation is carried on, as the case may be, or, if the municipality does not have a local police force, the Superintendent of State Police;

     (7)   In addition to any other registration requirements set forth in this section, a person required to register under this act who is enrolled at, employed by or carries on a vocation at an institution of higher education or other post-secondary school in this State shall, within 10 days after commencing such attendance, employment or vocation, register with the law enforcement unit of the educational institution, if the institution has such a unit.

      d.   (1)     Upon a change of address, a person shall notify the law enforcement agency with which the person is registered and shall re-register with the appropriate law enforcement agency no less than 10 days before he intends to first reside at his new address. Upon a change of employment or school enrollment status, a person shall notify the appropriate law enforcement agency no later than five days after any such change.  A person who fails to notify the appropriate law enforcement agency of a change of address or status in accordance with this subsection is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

     (2)   A person required to register under this act shall provide the appropriate law enforcement agency with information as to whether the person has routine access to or use of a computer or any other device with Internet capability. A person who fails to notify the appropriate law enforcement agency of such information or of a change in the person's access to or use of a computer or other device with Internet capability or who provides false information concerning the person's access to or use of a computer or any other device with Internet capability is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

     e.     A person required to register under paragraph (1) of subsection b. of this section or under paragraph (3) of subsection b. due to a sentence imposed on the basis of criteria similar to the criteria set forth in paragraph (1) of subsection b. shall verify his address with the appropriate law enforcement agency every 90 days in a manner prescribed by the Attorney General.  A person required to register under paragraph (2) of subsection b. of this section or under paragraph (3) of subsection b. on the basis of a conviction for an offense similar to an offense enumerated in paragraph (2) of subsection b. shall verify his address annually in a manner prescribed by the Attorney General.  In addition to address information, the person shall provide as part of the verification process any additional information the Attorney General may require. One year after the effective date of this act, the Attorney General shall review, evaluate and, if warranted, modify pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) the verification requirement.  Any person who knowingly provides false information concerning his place of residence or who fails to verify his address with the appropriate law enforcement agency or other entity, as prescribed by the Attorney General in accordance with this subsection, is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

     f.     Except as provided in subsection g. of this section, a person required to register under this act may make application to the Superior Court of this State to terminate the obligation upon proof that the person has not committed an offense within 15 years following conviction or release from a correctional facility for any term of imprisonment imposed, whichever is later, and is not likely to pose a threat to the safety of others.

     g.    A person required to register under this section who has been convicted of, adjudicated delinquent, or acquitted by reason of insanity for more than one sex offense as defined in subsection b. of this section or who has been convicted of, adjudicated delinquent, or acquitted by reason of insanity for aggravated sexual assault pursuant to subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:14-2 or sexual assault pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:14-2 is not eligible under subsection f. of this section to make application to the Superior Court of this State to terminate the registration obligation.

(cf: P.L.2017, c.141, s.3)

 

     2.    (New section)     a.   As used in this section:

     "Federal immigration authority" means any officer, employee, or person otherwise paid by or acting as an agent of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement or United States Customs and Border Protection, or any division thereof, or any officer, employee, or person otherwise paid by or acting as an agent of the United States Department of Homeland Security who is charged with immigration enforcement.

     "Immigration enforcement" means any efforts to investigate, or enforce any federal civil immigration law, and the investigation or enforcement of any federal criminal immigration law that penalizes a person's presence, entry, or employment in the United States.

     "Law enforcement agency" means a State, county, or municipal law enforcement agency, and State or county correctional facility. 

     b.    Every county prosecutor shall notify the appropriate law enforcement agency when a person has been convicted, adjudicated delinquent, or acquitted by reason of insanity for the commission of a sex offense as defined in subsection b. of section 2 of P.L.1994, c.133 (C.2C:7-2). Upon notification, the law enforcement agency shall inquire about the immigration status of the person who has been convicted.  

     For the purposes of this subsection, the appropriate law enforcement agency is the correctional facility in which the convicted person is held or, if the convicted person is not in the custody of a correctional facility, the agency or official best suited to notify and cooperate with federal immigration authorities with respect to the convicted person, including but not limited to any parole or probation officer with a supervisory role over the convicted person or the State, county, or local police department with jurisdiction over the convicted person's place of residence.

      c.    If, based upon the inquiry required pursuant to subsection b. of this section, a law enforcement agency is unable to confirm that the sex offender's presence in the United States is authorized under federal law, the law enforcement agency shall provide notification to a federal immigration authority and shall cooperate with any immigration enforcement initiated by the federal immigration authority, including but not limited to:

     (1)   participating in civil immigration enforcement operations;

     (2)   providing any non-public personally identifying information regarding an individual;

     (3)   providing access to any State, county, or local law enforcement equipment, office space, database, or property not available to the general public;

     (4)   providing access to a detained individual for an interview;

     (5)   providing notice of a detained individual's upcoming release from custody; and

     (6)   continuing the detention of an individual past the time the individual would otherwise be eligible for release from custody based solely on a civil immigration detainer request.

      d.   Upon inquiry by a federal immigration authority, a law enforcement agency shall cooperate with any immigration enforcement initiated by a federal immigration authority in the case of a person who has registered because that person was convicted of a sex offense as defined in section 2 of P.L.1994, c.133 (C.2C:7-2) under the laws of any foreign government, or was charged with a sex offense and absconded from that jurisdiction prior to the charge being adjudicated or resolved, and the law enforcement agency is unable to confirm that the sex offender's presence in the United States is authorized under federal law.  This cooperation shall include, but not be limited to:

     (1)   participating in civil immigration enforcement operations;

     (2)   providing any non-public personally identifying information regarding an individual;

     (3)   providing access to any State, county, or local law enforcement equipment, office space, database, or property not available to the general public;

     (4)   providing access to a detained individual for an interview;

     (5)   providing notice of a detained individual's upcoming release from custody; and

     (6)   continuing the detention of an individual past the time the individual would otherwise be eligible for release from custody based solely on a civil immigration detainer request.

     If a law enforcement agency has knowledge that a sex offender who has registered with that law enforcement agency was convicted of a sex offense as defined in section 2 of P.L.1994, c.133 (C.2C:7-2) under the laws of any foreign government, or was charged with a sex offense by a foreign government and absconded from that jurisdiction prior to the charge being adjudicated or resolved, and the law enforcement agency is unable to confirm that the sex offender's presence in the United States is authorized under federal law, the law enforcement agency shall provide notification to a federal immigration authority.

 

     3.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the fourth month after enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires persons who have been convicted, or fled a charge, of a sex offense in a foreign country to register as a sex offender under Megan's Law under certain circumstances.  In addition, contrary to a recent directive issued by the New Jersey Attorney General, the bill requires law enforcement agencies to inquire about the immigration status of a convicted sex offender and notify and cooperate with federal immigration authorities when the law enforcement agency is unable to confirm that the sex offender's presence in the United States is authorized under federal law.

     Under current State law, a person who is convicted, adjudicated delinquent, or acquitted by reason of insanity under the laws of the United States, this State, or another state of an offense similar to those classified as sex offenses under current law is required to register as a sex offender. 

     This bill expands the requirement to register in this State as a sex offender to also include persons who were convicted, adjudicated delinquent; or acquitted by reason of insanity under the laws of any foreign government of an offense similar to those classified as sex offenses under current law, and persons who were charged with such offenses by a foreign government, but fled the jurisdiction prior to the adjudication of those charges.

     The Attorney General Directive No. 2018-6 generally prohibits State, county, and municipal law enforcement agencies from providing certain types of assistance to federal immigration authorities charged with enforcing federal civil immigration law, with certain limited exceptions.  The directive also prohibits, with certain limited exceptions, a State, county, or municipal law enforcement agency from inquiring about the immigration status of any individual.  Furthermore, the directive does not mandate that law enforcement officials provide assistance in any particular circumstance, even when, under the limited exceptions of the directive, they are permitted to do so.  Thus, when an offender who is not authorized to be in the United States has been convicted of a Megan's Law offense, under the directive, local law enforcement is under no obligation to cooperate with federal authorities that may be seeking to enforce federal immigration laws with respect to that offender.

     In contrast to the directive, the bill requires every county prosecutor to notify the appropriate law enforcement agency when a person has been convicted, adjudicated delinquent, or acquitted by reason of insanity for the commission of a sex offense, as defined under current law.  Upon notification, the law enforcement agency is required to inquire about the immigration status of the person who has been convicted.

     The bill provides that if, based upon the inquiry required by the bill, a law enforcement agency is unable to confirm that the person's presence in the United States is authorized under federal law, the law enforcement agency is to provide notification to a federal immigration authority. 

     Under the bill, the law enforcement agency also is to cooperate with any immigration enforcement initiated by the federal immigration authority, which includes but is not limited to: (1) participating in civil immigration enforcement operations with respect to the sex offender; (2) providing any non-public personally identifying information regarding the sex offender; (3) providing access to any State, county, or local law enforcement equipment, office space, database, or property not available to the general public; (4) providing access to a detained sex offender for an interview; (5) providing notice of a detained sex offender's upcoming release from custody; and (6) continuing the detention of a sex offender past the time the sex offender would otherwise be eligible for release from custody when presented with a civil immigration detainer request.

     Finally, the bill requires the cooperation of a New Jersey law enforcement agency with any immigration enforcement upon an inquiry by a federal immigration authority concerning a registered sex offender convicted of a sex offense by a foreign government, or who was charged with a sex offense by a foreign government and absconded from that jurisdiction prior to the charge being adjudicated or resolved, and if the law enforcement agency is unable to confirm that the sex offender's presence in the United States is authorized under federal law.  This cooperation is to include, but not be limited to, participating in civil immigration enforcement operations; providing any non-public personally identifying information regarding an individual; providing access to any State, county, or local law enforcement equipment, office space, database, or property not available to the general public; providing access to a detained individual for an interview; providing notice of a detained individual's upcoming release from custody; and continuing the detention of an individual past the time the individual would otherwise be eligible for release from custody based solely on a civil immigration detainer request.  The bill further requires a law enforcement agency that registers a sex offender and has knowledge that the sex offender was (1) convicted by a foreign government, or (2) charged with a sex offense by a foreign government and absconded prior to the charges being adjudicated or resolved, to provide notification to a federal immigration authority if the agency is unable to confirm that the sex offender's presence in the United States is authorized under federal law.

     It is the sponsor's firmly held belief that because sex offenders pose a grave danger to public safety, especially for women and children, law enforcement officials should be required to cooperate with immigration enforcement actions initiated by a federal immigration authority, in order to ensure that dangerous predators are not permitted to find safe harbor in New Jersey.

feedback