A woman in the St. Louis area has been charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. Authorities said that they received information that the woman, age 20, had engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with the minor, who was under the age of 13. Investigators claim that they were able to determine that sexual abuse had occurred at the woman's home in Godfrey, Illinois. The incident allegedly happened in August, 2012.
The woman was arrested on these charges and brought to the Madison County jail. Bail was set at $100,000.
Not many details have been provided so far about the nature and quality of the police investigation in this case. Before the defendant makes any decision as to what plea to enter, she will want to get more details about this investigation. Any negative aspects of the investigation should be used during plea negotiations or during trial to cast doubt on the strength of the prosecution's case.
Another thing to remember is that crimes such as predatory criminal sexual assault of a child are composed of a number of elements. In order to secure a conviction, the prosecution must convince each juror of the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. If any of these elements are not proven in accordance with this high standard, the defendant must be found not guilty.
A person charged with criminal sexual conduct will almost certainly be faced with an overwhelming number of emotions. This is a result of the lengthy prison sentence the defendant may be facing, as well as a possible loss of reputation in the community, loss of employment and mandatory sex offender registration. As a result, a strong defense in response to these charges is necessary.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Godfrey woman charged with engaging in sexual act with child," Marlon A. Walker, Dec. 21, 2012