Bill would create domestic violence registry in NJ
Modeled after Megan's Law, there is a push to create a publicly accessible online registry for people convicted of serious domestic violence.
Only those convicted of homicide, sexual assault or aggravated assault involving domestic violence would be on the registry. A tragic murder helped spur legislation (A-2539) to establish the registry.
"I had a constituent who was murdered by her boyfriend who had a history of domestic violence. The parents objected to the relationship, but if they had the ability to look up the person they could've probably guided their daughter much better," said Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Trenton).
This bill would require the Administrative Office of the Courts, the State Police and the Attorney General to develop and maintain the registry and make information publicly available over the internet.
"It should be emphasized that those who are just simply accused or convicted of even simple assault will not appear on the registry. Only those who are convicted will actually appear," Gusciora said.
According to the bill statement the registry would include:
- The defendant's name and any aliases;
- Any aggravated assault offense involving domestic violence for which the defendant was convicted;
- The date, location and a brief description of the offense;
- The defendant's age, race, sex, date of birth, height, weight, hair, eye color and any distinguishing scars or tattoos;
- A photograph of the defendant and the date on which the photograph was entered into the registry;
- The make, model, color, year and license plate number of any vehicle operated by the defendant; and
- The street address, zip code, municipality and county in which the defendant resides.
With the growing popularity of online dating services, Gusciora said the registry could be a life-saver.
"Because of Internet dating you'll sometimes see people go on those sites for all the wrong reasons and you know nothing about that perspective partner. This protects the person so they can at least check that they're not a violent person," he said.
The measure is scheduled for a hearing Thursday in the Assembly Women and Children Committee. An identical version of the bill (S-1773) is sponsored in the senate by State Sen. Linda Greenstein (D-Cranbury).