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New Jersey Man Pleads Not Guilty to Child Rape Charges

A young New Jersey man, who became a U.S. citizen when he was 11 years old and has only been in the United States for nine years, could potentially spend the rest of his life as a registered sex offender.

On December 21, 2010 a warrant was issued for the arrest of the young man who was suspected of raping a minor. He initially fled the United States to his family in Peru, but he decided to return to New Jersey and face the charges against him. He was arrested when he re-entered the United States. 

A New Jersey prosecutor has charged the 20-year-old with aggravated sexual assault, luring and enticing a child, kidnapping, endangering the welfare of a child and serving alcohol to a minor, on top of being a fugitive for fleeing the country. The charges stem from an incident where he allegedly had sex with a minor while his friend made a video on his cell phone.

The nature and number of the charges against the accused are very serious. If the prosecution is successful in convicting the young man on these charges, the accused will be looking at a lifetime of consequences, including being registered as a sex offender.

The prosecution requested that bail be set high enough to discourage another attempt at leaving the country. As another precaution, the judge confiscated his U.S. passport to limit his ability to travel freely if he were to make bail.

He does not currently have an attorney and his court-appointed public defender was present when his bail was set at one million dollars. The judge will have a bail hearing if bail is met in order to ensure the funds are legal. In addition, the man is to have no contact with his accuser or her family.

Source: NorthJersey.com, "Suspected child rapist pleads not guilty," Deena Yellin, 30 Dec 2010

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