Having sex outside marriage is your business, but having sex with a minor when you’re 32 is statutory rape. Jorge Batista, a married physical education teacher from Washington Township, learned that lesson when he was arrested this week and charged with sexual assault for fooling around with a 17-year-old girl.
Batista, who lives on Kennedy Drive, has worked the past two years as a physical education at an engineering high school in Manhattan, where he also coached the girls’ volleyball team.
He turned himself in on Thursday and was released from the Bergen County Jail on $25,000 bail.
Statutory rape in New Jersey occurs when one of the partners is between 13 and 16 and the other is at least four years older. It doesn’t matter whether the girl consents. Supervisory authority over a youth also makes the acts criminal (See: It’s still rape ).
Anyone under the age of 16 is deemed incapable of consenting to sex, under the law. Anyone under 13 is the victim of aggravated sexual assault.
Those adults who claim “she looked 18″ — or said the victim showed a fake ID — have no defense, under what is known as the standard of strict liability.
The adult also can’t claim that he or she was seduced.
If convicted, an adult faces up to 10 years in prison if the youngster was between 13 and 16. Penalties are much more severe if the child is younger than that.
The convicted adults also must register as Megan’s Law offenders, with lifetime parole.
On top of that, defendants in statutory rape cases can be sued in civil court for personal injury.
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