Most people in the St. Louis area would agree that being accused any crime would be a nightmare. Even worse is when the crime involves accusations of sexual abuse.
This is the situation facing a resident of nearby Belleville, Illinois. The man has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman in her home. The man was arrested after the woman provided information to police that directed them to him. He was charged with three counts of sexual assault and one count of home invasion, all felonies. Bail was set at $1 million.
When confronted with a scenario such as this, many would choose to go with a guilty plea. Often, the defendant feels there is no other choice and is intimidated by the lengthy sentences that could be handed down upon conviction.
There are, however, drawbacks to this approach. Often, the charges will place the defendant on the sex offender registry. This can negatively impact the defendant's ability to secure employment or housing, and can make relationships with neighbors and co-workers difficult.
Offering a vigorous defense to the charges may be a much better option depending on the circumstances. This is especially true if the defendant believes the charges are a result of a misunderstanding or are just plain false.
There are many possible lines of attack upon charges of sexual assault. Witnesses may be biased, police procedures may be faulty and there may be important mitigating factors such as the character and psychological state of the defendant. A strong defense ensures that the jury hears the full story before coming to a verdict.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Belleville man charged with sexual assault," Cynthia Billhartz Gregorian, Sept. 1, 2012