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Columbia man accused of sexual abuse

A man in Columbia, Missouri, has been charged with first-degree sexual misconduct and burglary after police said he was involved in an incident inside a woman's unlocked apartment.

According to police, the man, 47, entered the residence without permission and committed sexual abuse. Police allege that at around 1 a.m., the woman woke up and saw the man standing near her bed. After telling him to leave and going back to sleep, the woman woke up again and discovered the man groping her breasts, according to police. Police said that other persons in the apartment removed the man from the room.

It was alleged that the man and woman were acquaintances but that he did not have permission to enter her house.

The man was arrested and housed in the county jail in Boone County, Missouri.

Records reveal that the man has prior convictions for alleged criminal sexual conduct. Specifically, he has two convictions for misdemeanor second-degree sexual assault. He also was convicted of third-degree assault earlier this year.

It is important to remember that the full story of what happened may be untold at this early stage in the investigation. The prosecution has filed its version of events with the court, however, the defense may not have the chance to tell the man's side of the story until later.

Also, it should be remembered that a defendant's criminal record does not automatically mean that the defendant is guilty in this case. In order to get a conviction, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the crime alleged, not just that the defendant has priors similar to what is being charged. The judge will remind the jury of this before deliberations begin.

Source: Columbia Daily Tribune, "Man accused of fondling woman," Sept. 25, 2012

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