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Missouri man accused of sexual abuse of underage female

A 51-year-old man from Lincoln County, Missouri, has been arrested on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct. The man was charged with statutory sodomy. According to sheriff's deputies, he had sex with an underage female at his residence. The girl notified authorities of the alleged sexual abuse, according to investigators. After being charged, the man was held on $50,000 bail.

News reports of the incident did not mention whether there was any physical evidence linking the man to the alleged sexual abuse. If there is none, then the case would be his word against that of the alleged victim.

In the latter type of case, the defendant's legal team would investigate to see what, if any, interaction the man and girl had prior to the allegations of sexual abuse. If the relationship between the two had been negative, it might damage the prosecution's case, and the defense may present this evidence to the jury during trial.

On the other hand, if there is physical evidence that the prosecution asserts links the man to the offense, the defense will thoroughly research the methodology used by the crime lab to identify the defendant as the perpetrator. Unfortunately, there have been a number of recent cases with sloppy or even fraudulent lab work. A criminal defendant should not pay the price for such malfeasance.

Finally, crimes such as statutory sodomy contain a number of elements that must be satisfied in order to properly convict a defendant of the crime, and each of these elements must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. In such cases, experienced and diligent defense attorneys can help a defendant point out any defects in the prosecution's presentation of the case.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Lincoln County man, 51, charged with statutory sodomy," Susan Weich, Nov. 15, 2012

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