DEAL — An 86-year-old man who is part of a well-to-do family at the Jersey Shore will not see a single day behind bars for molesting a minor for over a decade.

Hal Sitt was sentenced late last month on a single count of third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact. According to Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey, the abuse took place at his home in Deal and at a park in Ocean Township multiple times from 1997 to 2008.

"We hope that the resolution of this case sends a clear message to perpetrators and victims alike: it doesn’t matter how long ago the abuse occurred, or what age the defendant is now – such monstrous crimes demand a reckoning,” Linskey said.

But as part of his plea agreement, Sitt will not serve any prison time. Instead, he will be able to live the rest of his life in luxury at his family home in Deal. Prosecutors said that the deal was only reached after discussions with the victim.

The Sitt home on Brighton Ave in Deal. (<a href="" target="_blank">Cathy Ades Real Estate, LLC</a> via <a href="" target="_blank">Zillow</a>)
The Sitt home on Brighton Ave in Deal. (Cathy Ades Real Estate, LLC via Zillow)
The Sitt home on Brighton Ave in Deal, NJ.
The Sitt home on Brighton Ave in Deal. (Cathy Ades Real Estate, LLC via Zillow)

Instead of a prison cell at a state penitentiary, he will be sitting in a 4,352 square-foot home on Brighton Avenue that boasts five bedrooms, five bathrooms, an outdoor pool, and a tennis court. Last listed in 2019 for $6.2 million, the one-acre lot sits a block away from the beach and the Deal Casino Beach Club.

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The prominent Sitt family owns more than a dozen properties throughout Deal, The Real Deal reported. Large sections of the tony town, especially expensive homes by the oceanfront, are owned by New York City real estate moguls.

Justice years after first coming forward

According to a criminal complaint obtained by New Jersey 101.5, the victim told investigators that she first reported Sitt to a camp counselor in 2009. Although police were notified then, she declined to provide a formal statement.

The complaint and affidavit filed by investigators do not explain why the victim declined to make a statement back in 2009 but there are many reasons why victims of sexual assault and domestic violence often decline to come forward or cooperate with prosecutors, including feelings of shame, fear of consequences and lack of support.

More than a decade later, however, the victim came forward again. In July 2021, police were able to record a call between the victim and Sitt in which he admitted the abuse, according to the complaint.

While Sitt will not see the inside of a prison, his sentence includes paying $134,000 in restitution to the victim. He must also register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and serve five years of probation.

We have reached out to an attorney for Sitt for comment.

NJ teachers and educators caught in sex crime busts

Over the past few years, state lawmakers have taken on the challenge of dealing with accused child predators among the ranks of teachers and educators.

In 2018, the so-called “pass the trash” law went into effect, requiring stricter New Jersey school background checks related to child abuse and sexual misconduct.

The follow individuals were arrested over the past several years. Some have been convicted and sentenced to prison, while others have accepted plea deals for probation.

Others cases are still pending, including some court delays amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The models show what would happen in aerial detonation, meaning the bomb would be set off in the sky, causing considerable damage to structures and people below; or what would happen in a ground detonation, which would have the alarming result of nuclear fallout. The models do not take into account the number of casualties that would result from fallout.

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