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State Appeals Court Affirms Conviction in Woodbury Heights Child Sex Assault Case

Gavel-court-genericSeptember 22, 2104 press release

WOODBURY NJ--The September 20,2012 sexual assault conviction of Victor E. Albarracin (DOB 8/29/79), of Pennsauken, that resulted in a seven-year state prison sentence was affirmed today by a state appeals court.

Albarracin was found guilty in a trial of improperly touching a 12-year-old girl in his former Woodbury Heights apartment on July 10, 2007.

The appellate judge rejected defense arguments that the testimony of the victim’s sisters should not have been permitted; that the trial judge should have instructed the jury about the defense of intoxication; that one of the victim’s sisters was allowed to testify about a prior inappropriate incident; that testimony about the investigating detective meeting with a state child welfare caseworker should have been barred and that Albarracin was deprived of his right to testify.

The 30-page appellate opinion pointed out that the trial judge twice “carefully explained” to the defendant his options about testifying, even though he was not specifically asked whether he wanted to take the stand at the end of the prosecution’s case.

In a brief opposing the appeal,  Assistant Gloucester County Prosecutor Joseph Enos addressed Albarracin’s claim that when he touched the girl,  he was in a “dream-like” state after he’d been drinking.  The defendant himself never claimed to be intoxicated, Enos said, and there was no evidence his mental faculties were “prostrated.”

The appeals court remanded the case for resentencing to clarify what appeared to be an inconsistency in factors the trial judge used to determine the sentence.