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Adding another charge doesn't prove guilt

Sometimes someone is already in jail when he or she becomes a suspect on other criminal charges. That is what happened in a recent St. Louis sex offense case.

Authorities had already charged a 31-year-old St. Louis County man with raping and kidnapping a woman. He was also charged with forcible sodomy. The man was jailed, with cash bail put at $200,000.

Then he became a suspect in a similar case. In the additional incident, authorities allege that the man approached a woman pretending to be a police officer. According to the charges, he then handcuffed her and made her get into a vehicle. But the woman was able to get away.

The charges growing out of this alleged incident are felony kidnapping and a misdemeanor count for false impersonation of a police officer. Based on the additional charges, the man's bail was raised from $200,000 to $230,000.

It should be noted, however, that when there are charges in more than one incident, each allegation has to be proven separately. Even if a suspect is one guilty, or pleads guilty, in one incident, that doesn't mean he or she is also guilty of the other charges.

Indeed, someone who is charges in two separate incidents could very well be innocent in both cases. Just because someone has been charged doesn't mean that he or she is guilty. Not in our criminal justice system, at least, where proof of guilty beyond a reasonable doubt is required to convict someone of a crime.

Source: "St. Louis County rape suspect faces more charges," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Joel Currier, 12-7-12

Our firm handles situations similar to those discussed in this post. To learn more about our practice, please visit our St. Louis sexual assault defense page.

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