August of 2016 will never be a good time to reminisce for a 29-year old music instructor from Johnson County in Kansas who has been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to one count of aggravated indecent liberties; his victim was a 7-year-old girl. Prior to this, the convicted felon had also been charged in the past with sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of a minor, first-degree child molestation, first-degree statutory sodomy, and possession of child pornography.
Under both federal and state laws, crimes that cause innocent victims severe harm are considered serious offenses and are, thus, exacted with heavy punishments, like incredibly costly fines and years of imprisonment; some offenders are even sentenced to life in prison.
Serious crimes include treason, which is betrayal of one’s country and the most serious crime in the U.S., murder, which is the unlawful planned killing of another person, and sex crimes, such as rape, predatory sexual assault and, in a number of states, sexual battery.
Sexual battery, in particular, is any form of unwanted or non-consensual touching or sexual contact; it does not involve sexual intercourse or penetration as in the case of rape. In some states, sexual battery is referred to as criminal sexual contact and it can be committed in many different ways, like grabbing or fondling a woman’s breast, patting a person’s buttocks, forcing a kiss on the mouth, forcing the victim to touch the offender’s intimate body part, or touching the victim’s genital area; these acts are committed by an offender for the purpose of arousing or sexually gratifying himself/herself.
The most common victims of sexual battery are a relative, a classmate, a neighbor, an acquaintance, a co-worker, a friend, a dating partner, or even a spouse. A Nashville criminal defense lawyer of Horst Law explains how sexual battery can be elevated to an aggravated form, specifically, to Class B felony, saying that this can be so if the offender committed the offense while using a weapon as a means of force or coercion, causing bodily harm, engaging in the offense with the help of another person, or if the victim is less than 13 years old.
In some states, sexual battery is considered a capital felony if the offender is at least 17 years old and the victim, below the age of 12, and if the act causes injuries to the victim’s sexual organ. Capital felony can be punished with life imprisonment or death.
Many victims of sexual battery and other sexual crimes, especially victims who are children, do not immediately report the crime committed against them. This may be due to threats made by the offender, fear of negative reaction from parents or anyone else, or for some reasons. Now, while the U.S. justice system is clearly bent on catching and punishing sex offenders, it may sometimes be lacking the initiative or the desire to look into the possibility that the accused is actually innocent. This does not to discredit the system of justice, but to point out that, in certain cases, especially where the victim is a child, an automatic bias is usually developed against the suspect.
A charge as serious as a sex crime, more so a conviction, can and will destroy everything that an accused holds dear and important. Hoping to clear one’s name will require only the best defense from a determined criminal defense lawyer
There are a number of law firms that offer substantial information regarding the right of an accused to a fair trial and the kind of defense that he/she will definitely need during the litigation. It is important that the accused find the lawyer who will be able to provide him/her with a defense that will work best for his/her case. All criminal lawyers are fully trained to understand the criminal law; however, not all eventually end up as capable of providing good legal representation and a good, strong defense that may save or lower the sentence of an accused.