A bill (S532) which passed through the Senate earlier this year and now has been favorably received by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee, would prohibit sex offenders (as defined in Megan’s Law, which involves a victim under 18 years of age) from holding positions in “youth serving organizations.”  The bill defines a “youth serving organization” as a sports team, league, athletic association or any other corporation, association or organization, excluding public and nonpublic schools (which already prohibit sex offender employees), which provides recreational, educational, cultural, social, charitable or other activities or services to persons under 18 years of age. 

Under the bill, with few exceptions, it would be a crime in the third degree for an excluded sex offender to hold a position or otherwise serve, in a paid or unpaid capacity, in a youth serving organization.  An employer that knowingly hires, engages or appoints an excluded sex offender to serve in a youth serving organization in violation of the bill’s provisions would be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree (and subject to imprisonment for up to 18 months, a fine of up to $10,000, or both).

Note: This article was published in the November 2008 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.

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