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Missouri man charged with statutory rape

A Hazelwood, Missouri, man was recently accused of, arrested for and charged with statutory rape.

The 25-year-old man was charged with one count of first-degree statutory rape. Police claim that the man offered a ride to a 13-year-old girl. According to police, after she got into his car, the man brought her back to his apartment and had intercourse with her.

Investigators claim that the girl led police to the man's apartment and identified him there. It is unclear at this point whether there were any witnesses to the incident from the time that the girl was allegedly offered a ride to how the two allegedly part ways. The man's bail was set at $50,000.

Many people are quick to sit in judgment of individuals charged with sexual assault crimes, even if the evidence isn't very compelling. In this situation, the media reports make it seem like all the evidence is in, forgetting that an individual is innocent until proven guilty.

While we cannot speak to the specific details of this case, it is important to note that when cases involve children there are more questions that need to be asked than media reports seem to acknowledge. Children make sympathetic claimants, but they are also often easily coerced. There are many instances where police, a parent, a teacher or other authority figure may lead the child to answers whether knowingly or inadvertently.

Cases such as these should be handled by an experienced attorney who will delve into the details and ensure that there is no rush to judgment by presenting a meaningful defense against each and every charge.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Hazelwood man charged with statutory rape," Christine Byers, June 20, 2012

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