NJ Lawmaker Proposes "Sex Assault by Fraud" Bill: Report - NBC New York

NJ Lawmaker Proposes "Sex Assault by Fraud" Bill: Report

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    The Statehouse in Trenton, N.J.

    A New Jersey lawmaker has introduced a bill that would make it a crime to lie to someone in order to have sex with them.

    NJ.com reports that Assemblyman Troy Singleton of Burlington proposed a "sexual assault by fraud" bill that would make it a sex crime if someone tells a lie or claims to be someone else in order to get sexual consent. 

    The bill would treat sex assault by fraud the same as forceable sexual assault, with a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars for a conviction.

    “Fraud invalidates any semblance of consent just as forcible sexual contact does,” Singleton told NJ.com. “This legislation is designed to provide our state's judiciary with another tool to assess situations where this occurs and potentially provide a legal remedy to those circumstances.”

    Singleton told NJ.com he proposed the bill after talking to a woman who had been duped into giving $5,000 to a boyfriend who claimed to be a military official who was actually a serial bigamist and scam artist.

    Prosecutors tried to charge the boyfriend with a sex crime but a grand jury wouldn’t indict him on the charge. 

    Singleton said that five states -- Alabama, California, Colorado, Montana and Tennessee -- have laws on the books that are similar to his bill.

    Criminal defense attorney Alan Zegas told NJ.com he thinks the bill is far too broad and wouldn’t stand up to a constitutional challenge.

    “What if a man were to say to a woman ‘I love you’ and engage in sex and he really didn't love her? It could be as simple as that,” Zegas said. “The definition is so broad that it doesn't put the citizens of the state on fair notice of what it is that constitutes the crime.”

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