N.J. Supreme Court Tosses Man’s Child Abuse Guilty Plea Based On ‘Off-Color’ Language

CBS New York

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The New Jersey State Supreme Court on Monday ruled that a Morris County was not guilty of child abuse just because he admitted to using “off-color language” in the presence of a 13-year-old foster child.

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey applauded the ruling in the case State of New Jersey v. Tate, which overruled a lower court ruling.

The organization expressed hope that the ruling would lead to a strike-down of a state law under which cursing in front children qualifies as child abuse.

John Tate had been charged in 2004 with aggravated criminal sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, on accusations that he committed unspecified acts between September and November 1999 while serving as a foster parent to a 13-year-old boy, the ruling said.

In June 2009, the state offered Tate a plea deal, in which he would…

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