False allegations of sexual assault are unfortunately a reality in the criminal justice system. For a sense of how often people are wrongly convicted based on false allegations, see our previous post, “DNA evidence: A powerful tool in Missouri criminal defense.”

With these issues in mind, St. Louis residents may be interested in the recent acquittal of an Illinois man who was accused of sexually assaulting a female high school student in 2012. Despite his acquittal in early February, he is still struggling to repair his reputation and get his job back.

The man, who worked as a school security guard in St. Clair County, Illinois, was accused of sexually assaulting a student between the ages of 14 and 17. According to the girl, the man took her from the school to a bar that he allegedly owned.

However, the man didn’t own a bar and there were no classes or school activities on the day — a Sunday — when the student claimed she was assaulted. A judge found the man not guilty.

Still, he lost his job over the allegations, and he says two of his children had to come home from colleges because he could no longer afford to pay the tuition.

“The whole thing is a nightmare that has not ended,” he said.

An article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has more on the man’s struggles.

For anyone facing sex crime allegations, the stakes are high. In addition to jail time and reputation damage, the potential negative consequences include sex offender registration, which can limit where you can live, travel and work. If you have been accused of a sexual offense, then speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.