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New Jersey teacher says community pressured him into guilty plea


A former yeshiva teacher in New Jersey wants to withdraw his guilty plea after he says he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a young boy only after he was pressured to do so from his Orthodox Jewish community. The man says that the pressure and stress his community put on him to plead guilty and avoid bad publicity for their community was so great, he pleaded guilty to the crime, despite being innocent.

When someone is charged with a serious crime, there is often a lot of media attention. This attention can not only cause stress for the person facing the charges, but also organizations and communities that the person participates in.

This pressure might cause a person to make decisions that aren't always in their best interests. Speaking with an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney before entering a plea might be a wise decision when facing sex crime allegations. An attorney can help a person understand what entering a guilty plea might mean for their situation.

Many people might feel pressure to plead guilty, face the consequences and quickly move on with their life. However, when a sex crime is alleged, the accused might be wise to consider the long-term effects of such a plea. They might be forced to register as a sex offender, and might have a difficult time reintegrating into their community once they have served their sentence. It can be difficult to find jobs and housing, and a stigma may follow the person for many years after their trial.

Source: USA Today, "N.J. yeshiva teacher seeks to withdraw sex assault plea," Wayne Parry, Associated Press, Oct. 17, 2013

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