A city man admitted to engaging in unwanted sexual touching during a party more than a decade ago.
Jonathan Nieves, 36, was initially charged with criminal sexual contact. His charge was downgraded to offensive touching and harassment.
Nieves pleaded guilty to the lesser charge before Passaic County Superior Court judge Imre Karaszegi, Jr. last Tuesday.
On October 1, 2009, Nieves was at the victim’s aunt’s house in Paterson, where there was a party taking place. On that night, the victim, identified as S.D., was seemingly sleeping on a coach at the house. Nieves admitted to touching her on her thigh without her consent. He was in a relationship with the victim at the time, he said in court.
Nieves faces 30 days in jail and $500 fine. He is also barred from having any contact with the victim.
Nieves also has five probation violations. He faces 180 days in jail for each of violation.
Nieves was expected to be sentenced on Tuesday, but confusion arose over his jail credits. He had been in and out of the Passaic County Jail, accumulating as many as 179 days of jail credits.
Nieves’s public defender Samantha Montalbano urged the judge to sentence him to time served. He works as assistant manager for a home improvement firm. She argued he runs the risk of losing his job.
Nieves also has a child with medical problems. Montalbano argued the burden for taking care of the child will entirely fall on his wife if he is put behind bars.
Montalbano also pointed out Nieves committed the crime when he was 24 years old. Age under 26 is considered as a mitigating factor.
She also urged the judge, if he has to be given jail time, to allow him to serve the jail time during weekends to minimize disruption with his family life and work.
“It would certainly alleviate some of the hardship that any incarceration is going to pose on his family,” said Montalbano.
Nieves is scheduled for sentencing on Friday, February 18 at 9 a.m.
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