Washington Township, NJ – The New Jersey Superior Court has sentenced Douglas B. Drift, 19, to time-served, as part of a plea deal on charges of child endangerment from 2011. He will not face additional jail time unless he violates the court’s terms. If he attempts to make contact with the 13-year-old girl he sexually violated, he will be given three years in state prison.
As part of the plea deal, Drift did not have to face sexual contact or rape charges. When charges were first levied against Drift in 2011, when he was 18, they consisted of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact and third-degree endangering the welfare of a child. A third-degree charge carries a maximum state prison sentence of five years.
Lehighvalleylive.com asserts that Drift was more than aware of the girl’s age at the time he was engaging in underage sexual contact. Despite bail terms that specifically forbade him doing so, Drift made multiple attempts to contact the victim. He’d even gone as far as driving to the Warren Hills Regional High School where she attended, and texted threatening messages.
Warren County Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Brotzman read aloud portions of a letter the victim had written:
“I have lost a year of my life, and struggled to get back what I have lost. I’m trying very hard to get back what is left of my teenage years.”
Drift will have to register as a sex offender per Megan’s Law. At the federal level, Megan’s Law is known as the Sexual Offender (Jacob Wetterling) Act of 1994, and requires persons convicted of sex crimes against children to notify local law enforcement of any change of address or employment after release from custody. Megan’s Law in New Jersey, provides for the creation of a state registry of sex offenders, as well as an Internet web site registry, and a community notification procedure, which mandates County Prosecutors to place offenders into one of three categories which are distinguished by the level of risk of re-offense by the offender.
Yet if you check the New Jersey Megan’s Law website it expressly disclaims that the registry is not a complete and comprehensive listing of every person who has ever committed any sex offense in New Jersey, nor does it make information about every sex offender living in New Jersey available on the Internet.