Even if the allegations are false, much is at stake for individuals accused of sexual offenses. A sex crime charge that is never proven in court can still have a negative effect on a person's reputation and personal relationships. Anyone accused of a sex offense should learn as much as they can about the law and how it applies to their case.
Missouri law defines a range of sexual offenses, including rape, sodomy, statutory rape, statutory sodomy and sexual abuse. The kind and degree of the charge -- whether it's a misdemeanor or a felony -- are determined based on a variety of factors, including the kind of the alleged sexual contact and the age of the alleged victim.
A defendant can face the possibility of increased penalties if the prosecution claims that the defendant used force or a weapon, or if the alleged victim was a child or was injured.
The reality is that sex crime cases are often highly contentious and not straightforward. With that in mind, consider the case of a Missouri businessman who was recently sentenced to 14 years in prison. He was accused of inappropriately touching four clients of his hair removal business in O'Fallon.
Thirteen witnesses called by the defense characterized the man as a good husband, father and businessperson. Some witnesses claimed that the alleged victims had ulterior motives for bringing claims against the defendant, who at the sentencing hearing stated that he was innocent and that two of the accusers and the police had committed perjury.
The judge noted the disparity between the prosecution's depiction of the defendant as a predator and the depiction provided by his family and friends. The judge said that she wasn't certain of which depiction was accurate, but she was sure that a jury had found the man guilty.
If you have been charged or suspect that you might be charged with a sex crime, then take action now to protect your rights. A criminal defense attorney can investigate the facts of your case and work toward the best possible outcome.