All Charges Dismissed For Client Accused of Indecent Liberties

by J.D. Garrett on March 22, 2013

Criminal charges based on allegations of sexual assault, particularly against children, are understandably difficult for most people to remain open minded. It is a natural first response for anyone to first think of the negatives, without knowing the facts and circumstances of a particular case.

In Portsmouth Circuit Court yesterday, our client stood charged with two felony counts of indecent liberties against his minor children. The charges are extremely serious in that they carry an almost certain prison sentence, as well as the requirement to register as a sex offender for the rest of the client’s life. Not incidental are the effects of a conviction on the client’s family. But he was not guilty of anything!

Police detectives and prosecutors are human beings who bring with them the same prejudices we all have against people who wrong children. This is all well and good when the defendant has performed some heinous act against a child. In this case, they were overzealous.

The client was a parent with small children, like I am and many of you. He was doing what many adult men all over the world do when they are alone and believe they are in private. Unfortunately, he was not alone. Late one night while he was on the computer, his 11-year old step-daughter was asleep nearby on the couch. His 6-year old son woke up and came downstairs where he walked in on his father. Immediately the client stopped and shepherded his son back to bed. Most embarrassing situations like this would end here. But the 6-year old did what 6-year olds do; he told his mom what he had seen. She in turn immediately thought the worst, was outraged and called the police. Over time, she pleaded with police and the prosecutor that she overreacted; but the die was cast at that point. The prosecution was determined to prove that the client committed a horrible act with his children by exposing himself.

Criminal defense attorneys experienced with sexual abuse cases must look at these types of cases with great pause. It is easy to accept prosecutor’s evidence without challenge and jump to conclusions. After careful review of the criminal statute and the relevant case law, we were able to persuade to the court to dismiss the charges.

If you, or someone you know is charged with indecent liberties, or any other sexual assault crime, contact us today. (757) 422-4646. Our criminal attorneys are parents and we understand the mistakes, oddities or embarrassing situations that may arise during child rearing. We are here to help you to explain your case and get your life back.


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