Fair Lawn High School Teacher Charged with Sexually Assaulting a Student

Christine Knudsen, a 44 year-old Fair Lawn High School teacher was just arrested for allegedly engaging in a sexual relationship with a student several years ago. The student was under the age of 16 at the time of the abuse. Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office also alleges that Knudsen used and provided drugs to the victim. Knudson was charged with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child on Thursday. Click here to read more at www.northjersey.com.

Sexual Assault is codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2b and N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2c, which provides:

b. An actor is guilty of sexual assault if he commits an act of sexual contact with a victim who is less than 13 years old and the actor is at least four years older than the victim.

c. An actor is guilty of sexual assault if he commits an act of sexual penetration with another person under any one of the following circumstances:

1. The actor uses physical force or coercion, but the victim does not sustain severe personal injury;
2. The victim is on probation or parole, or is detained in a hospital, prison or other institution and the actor has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of the actor s legal, professional or occupational status;
3. The victim is at least 16 but less than 18 years old and:

a. The actor is related to the victim by blood or affinity to the third degree; or
b. The actor has supervisory or disciplinary power of any nature or in any capacity over the victim; or
c. The actor is a resource family parent, a guardian, or stands in loco parentis within the household;

4. The victim is at least 13 but less than 16 years old and the actor is at least four years older than the victim.

Penalties for sexual assault conviction can be severe. Sexual Assault is a crime of the Second Degree, punishable by a period between 5 and 10 years in New Jersey State Prison, 85% of which must be served under the No Early Release Act (NERA) before the benefit of parole. Additionally, a Sexual Assault conviction also carries with it the following requirements: Community Supervision for Life, Megan Law s Registration, and a psychosexual evaluation (commonly referred to in court as an Avenel evaluation ).

If you or a loved one is charged with sexual assault, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Alissa D. Hascup is skilled and experienced at defending countless individuals charged with sexual assault in New Jersey. She will ensure that your rights are protected in court and that you achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Contact her office for a free consultation. She is available 24/7 at 862-257-1200.