Sexual Assault: Can an Accused Innocent Person be Saved from Conviction?

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in Sex Crimes | 0 comments

It was in 1996 when the United States Congress passed Megan’s Law, a federal mandate that requires law enforcement agencies to make available for public referencing any relevant information about sex offenders. Information, which may be published in newspapers and pamphlets or posted in free public websites, can include an offender’s photo, name, residential address, work, communities visited, nature of crime and incarceration date. The passing of this law is to avoid sexual crimes from being committed, such as the one committed against a seven-year-old girl, who was raped and killed by her neighbor in 1994.

Sexual offenders, especially those who victimize children, are also required under the law to inform local law enforcement authorities of any changes in their address and/or employment after their release from custody (this can last for up to 10 years or may even be required permanently). In many states, offenders who fail to comply with this order can be charged with felony.

Many other U.S. laws have been passed for the protection of children, such as the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, and the Sexual Offender (Jacob Wetterling) Act of 1994 (this is the federal version of the Megan’s Law).

Sex crimes, especially those committed against children, are very serious offenses. Some of the most common reported types of sex-related crimes are child molestation or indecency with a child, solicitation, sexual assault of a child, aggravated sexual assault, possession and distribution of child pornography, internet sex crime, and statutory rape, which refers to an adult engaging in sex with a minor who is under the age of consent. A person proven guilty of any these crimes will face very harsh punishments besides a ruined future.

In 2012, the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Criminal Victimization Survey was able to register 346,830 cases of rape or sexual assault on persons aged 12 or older. In spite of this alarming number, it is believed that many children, who are victims of sexual assault, do not immediately report the crime committed against them due to fear of negative reactions from their parents, or due to threats made by their abuser, most of whom are known to them, like a neighbor, a child care provider, a babysitter or a family friend; in the case of male victims, offenses are usually never reported.

As explained by the Nashville sex offense lawyers at Horst Law, the most serious form of this offense is what is termed as especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor—a single count of which constitutes a Class B felony. Depending on the circumstances of a case, an individual might be charged multiple times and could conceivably be punished with consecutive sentences.

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