NEW JERSEY: Cultural Intent vs. Criminal Intent

Moroccan Belief In Non-consensual Sex, Insufficient to Deny Restraining Order

S.D. v. M.J.R.

Bayonne, New Jersey (July 23, 2010): S. D. (Wife) requested an order for final domestic violence protection order against M.J.R. (Husband).  Both Husband and Wife are  Muslims and Moroccans. The Trial Court denied the order and found that  in punishing Wife and having non-consensual sex with her, Husband lacked the requisite criminal intent and believed is permitted to do so.  Wife appealed. The Court of Appeals of New Jersey, in an opinion filed on July 23, 2010, reversed the trial Court’s order, and found that Trial Court’s conclusion cannot be sustained because “Defendant’s conduct in engaging in nonconsensual sexual intercourse was unquestionably knowing, regardless of his view that his religion permitted him to act as he did”.

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