Fraud could lead to rape charge under legislation

A New Jersey lawmaker is pursuing legislation that could result in sexual assault charges if one party lies about his or her identity.

Democratic Assemblyman Troy Singleton has introduced a measure that would expand the state’s sexual assault penalties to include sex committed by fraud.

Violators would face 10 to 20 years in prison and up to a $200,000 fine for a conviction of first-degree sexual assault.

Singleton introduced the legislation after a constituent who was involved in a fraudulent relationship contacted him. Mischele Lewis says she was in a relationship with a man who falsely claimed to work for the British government.

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Critics of the measure say it would be difficult for courts to uphold.

The legislation was first reported on by NJ.com.

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