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State v. Scherzer

Superior Court of New Jersey
694 A.2d 196 (1997)


Facts

Kevin Scherzer, Kyle Scherzer, and Christopher Archer (defendants) were indicted on multiple charges for sexual assault committed against a mentally challenged female victim, M.G. At trial, M.G. testified that she performed the sexual acts at the urging of the defendants. However, M.G. stated that she was not forced to engage in the sexual activity and in fact consented to the sexual conduct. The prosecution presented numerous witnesses who testified about M.G.’s personality, mental acuity, and perception by others. According to these witnesses, M.G. had poor self-esteem, was mentally slower than others her age, was frequently ridiculed, and could be easily led by people whom she hoped would like her. Additionally, three experts testified that M.G. was a mildly mentally retarded young girl who was likely to do what anyone asked her to do and incapable of exercising her right to refuse to engage in sexual contact. The defendants were convicted for first-degree aggravated sexual assault by force or coercion, as well as first-degree or attempted aggravated sexual assault upon a mentally defective person. The defendants appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Shebell, J.)

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