A conviction on charges of sexual assault or any sex crime is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Families and careers can be ruined, and financial survival is at risk. Regardless of guilt or innocence, a defendant has rights that must be protected during the process.

The same rules apply whether it is an average citizen who has been charged or a public official. Presently under this type of scrutiny is the East St. Louis assistant police chief. According to reports, a 24-year-old woman filed a complaint earlier this month claiming he sexually assaulted her when she joined the department as an intern.

Reportedly, the police department hired a private investigator to determine the facts and evidence surrounding the allegations of the alleged sex crime. The city manager explains this investigator is someone they regularly hire to handle background checks and polygraphs for city employees. It is further reported that this overseer has 15 years of experience with law enforcement and has handled internal investigations in the past.

Although the probe is about half complete according to the city manager, the mayor addressed some concerns raised about a potential conflict of interest. He states that because the private investigator is not a city employee, they hope there will be a bit more objectivity resulting in a fair analysis of what occurred.

Regardless of how this case plays out, allegations of sexual misconduct seriously affect a defendant and his or her family. Damage to reputation, professional life and emotional well-being can be expected. Defeating a sexual assault charge requires an effective strategy, while minimizing the penalties through negotiations with prosecutors is a sound approach when the evidence supports the case.

All defendants must have protection of their rights from the moment of arrest through to the case conclusion. It is an advocate’s experience, skill and personalized commitment to the defense that provides the best chance for a positive outcome.

Source: KMOV4 St. Louis, “Woman accuses East St. Louis Asst. Police Chief of sexual assault” Sep. 05, 2014