N.J. may toughen penalty for falsely implicating someone in crime

Tougher penalties may be on the way for falsely implicating someone in criminal activity in New Jersey.

The Senate’s Law and Public Safety Committee voted unanimously to advance legislation that would impose a penalty of up to 10 years in prison for making a fictitious report to police.

False claims can impede investigations into serious crimes, said state Sen. Donald Norcross.

“Instead of chasing the true bad guy, they’re chasing a false bad guy. In the meantime, things are going on that we don’t want to see,” said Norcross, D-Camden. “All the resources are away from where they should be, and they need to be held accountable for that false accusation.”

Norcross said he sponsored the measure in response to an incident in Camden. As police were investigating a series of rapes, a woman who had an argument with her boyfriend falsely claimed that he was the rapist, he said.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.