Rutgers Basketball Player Accused of Domestic Violence


A Rutgers basketball player was recently accused of domestic violence in Piscataway, NJ. While each domestic violence case is unique to the people and circumstances involved, there are some fundamental factors that you should understand when involved in a domestic violence case in New Jersey. The following provides answers to some of the most commonly asked questions by individuals dealing with domestic violence and restraining order matters in Middlesex County, New Jersey. If you need help with representation when accused of domestic violence or seeking a restraining order in Middlesex County, call (732) 659-9600 to speak with a lawyer immediately.

How Can I be Charged with Domestic Violence in Middlesex County?

New Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, codified at NJRS 2C:25-17 et seq., protects a spouse, a former spouse, any present or former member of the abuser’s household, any person who had a dating relationship with the abuser, or any person who may have become pregnant as a result of a relationship with the abuser, among a few other categories of persons. A household member is anyone who has lived with the abuser for a period of time with consideration given to the length of time since the victim and the abuser have lived together.

A broad range of separate crimes may be categorized as domestic violence when inflicted by the abuser on one of the protected classes of individuals listed above. These crimes include stalking, harassment, lewdness, sexual contact, sexual assault, false imprisonment, criminal restraint, criminal mischief, criminal trespass, burglary, kidnapping, terroristic threats, assault, and homicide, among others. Thiam, for example, was charged with simple assault, false imprisonment, and making terroristic threats as predicate domestic violence offenses, indicating that he allegedly committed those illegal acts against a protected person, potentially either a cohabitant or a person with whom he had a dating relationship (although those details are unknown based on media reports at this time).

What if I’m a Victim of Domestic Violence in Edison?

Victims of domestic violence have a number of legal remedies that can help them avoid their abuser and otherwise move on with their lives. For example, they can request a legal substitute address as part of New Jersey’s Address Confidentiality Program. This address can be used on public documents requiring an address, and first-class mail sent to this address will be forwarded to the victim. A victim can also obtain a protective order, also known as a restraining order, requiring the abuser to stay away from the victim. Child support and custody orders may be modified as a result of domestic violence. A victim may also file a civil lawsuit to recover damages to cover medical bills or pain and suffering caused by the abuser.

What are the Consequences if I’m Convicted of Domestic Violence in New Brunswick?

Domestic violence offenses may either be indictable offenses (similar to felonies in states outside New Jersey) or disorderly persons offenses (similar to misdemeanors outside the state). The severity of the offenses charged and their penalties depends on the severity of the conduct that occurred.

For example, recently reports surfaced that a member of Rutgers’ basketball team was arrested on domestic violence charges in Middlesex County, New Jersey. A junior forward who is attending the school and originally from Senegal, allegedly slapped a woman and swung a knife at her during an altercation involving the woman’s cell phone. He was subsequently arrested on several domestic violence charges in Piscataway, including simple assault, false imprisonment and terroristic threats. The defendant in this case denies the charges and his attorney has told the media that his client was in shock, in part because he was suspended by Rutgers and because he faces deportation if he is convicted. The charges brought as a result of this defendant’s alleged terroristic threats, simple assault, and false imprisonment will likely carry lesser potential penalties than would a sexual assault or murder offense charged in connection with domestic violence, although the charges he faces are certainly serious.

Accused of Domestic Violence in Piscataway, What Next?

If you have been accused of domestic violence in New Jersey, there may also be collateral consequences associated with a domestic violence conviction, over and above the criminal fines and imprisonment that may be imposed by a court. A person convicted of domestic violence may lose their job, may have difficulty obtaining employment, and may even face deportation proceedings, as in the case of Issa Thiam. However, you can avoid these consequences with the help of an experienced defense attorney. Here is a recent case that we handled for a client facing deportation for domestic violence simple assault. To discuss your specific case with a domestic violence lawyer in Middlesex County who can help, contact our firm at (732) 659-9600 anytime. Consultations are always provided free of charge.

For additional information regarding this matter, access the following article: Rutgers basketball player dismissed from team, faces deportation following domestic violence charges

With more than a decade of experience defending clients against criminal charges, founding partner William A. Proetta has successfully handled and tried thousands of cases, from DWI to murder. As a New Jersey native, he has focused his career on helping people in the area where he grew up, serving Middlesex, Ocean, Hudson, and Union counties.