Sex crimes charges are serious and can have an impact on the personal and professional life of anyone facing them.
Recently, a man was arrested for the sexual battery of a 17-year-old Clearwater girl whom he first kidnapped. The defendant was charged with sex crimes, including sexual battery, attempted felony murder and strong armed robbery and kidnapping following the incident. The defendant allegedly abducted the girl from behind, dragged her to a nearby ditch and choked her until she was unconscious. The defendant then sexually battered her. The police say that they have DNA evidence linking the defendant to the crime and that the defendant has confessed to the crime. The defendant has also been charged with stealing two cell phones from the girl at the time of the kidnapping and battery.
"Sex crimes" generally include the broad category of crimes that involve illegal or coerced sexual conduct by one person against another. "Sex offenders" are those convicted of sex crimes whose names may be included state and federal sex offender registries by law. Today, "sexual assault" includes all unwanted sexual contact between people of all genders and ages. It also includes assaults that occur within a marriage. It can refer, as a blanket term, to all types of violent sexual offenses, although some states have left it as its own separate crime.
Defenses to sexual crimes can include innocence, consent, insanity or mental incapacity. These defenses can be presented by the defendant during a criminal trial. To prove innocence, the defendant may want to present an "alibi" proving that he or she was elsewhere during the commission of the crime and thus incapable of committing the crime. The defendant also may attack witness identification and DNA evidence in some instances. Consent may sometimes be difficult to prove and consent laws, as to belief and age of the victim, vary. Requirements for the insanity defense also vary by state.
For those facing sex crimes allegations, serious consequences may include damage to reputation or significant prison time. Understanding possible defenses can be especially important.
Source: Tampa Bay Online, "Man arrested in sexual assault on Clearwater student," Jan. 3, 2013