Many sex crimes have several different offense levels, each of which carries a different level of punishment. In order for a prosecutor to convict someone of a sex crime, such as possession of child pornography, for example, they must prove each of the legal elements of the crime as defined under criminal law.
Sex Crimes Archives
For most people, the thought of facing criminal charges is extremely stressful and traumatic. Once criminal charges are pressed against a defendant, it is difficult to predict how the trial will unfold or what the outcome will be. The consequences that could potentially result from a conviction are often life-changing and many may continue for years or even decades after the trial. This is often the case in situations where a person is charged with a sex offense.
Any alleged crime involving children can be troubling and difficult to talk about. Just because a person has been accused of a crime doesn't mean that they are guilty. A trial is required before a conviction can be made. Recently, a Christian radio personality in Michigan was arrested and accused of sex crimes against a child.
For more than 11 years, a man was in jail for a sex crime he did not commit. He maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal which saw him convicted of rape of a 12-year-old girl who lived near him. However, the man was finally cleared when DNA evidence proved that he was not, in fact, the perpetrator of the crime.
The introduction of DNA testing radically changed the criminal justice system, especially with regard to sex crimes. Investigators could now take on relatively small samples of DNA from rape victims and use that material to identify suspects in the rape whose material was already on file. However, the system should not be considered foolproof and 100 percent accurate. The ongoing scandal over how Michigan and Detroit officials handled rape kits proves this all too well.
When they hear an allegation of sex crimes, many Michigan residents rush to believe the accuser. This response is understandable in many ways. It's only human to have compassion for victims. However, in the rush to take the accuser's story at face value, it's easy to forget that the accused has the right to due process and a criminal defense.
Those who are convicted of sex crimes in Michigan continue to face penalties long after they have served any prison sentence or paid any fine. Not only do they have to submit to sex offender registration so that friends, neighbors and potential employers can identify them, they face restrictions on liberties that other Michigan residents take for granted.
Michigan residents who are accused of sex crimes often feel that their entire community is convinced they are guilty before they have even gone to trial. This is especially true for those accused of child sexual abuse. These allegations are shocking and often lead to media coverage, which can generate a lot of outrage within the community and may even negatively influence a jury.
Under Michigan and federal law, a person accused of a crime has the right to confront the witnesses against the accused. This right is spelled out in the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in something known as the Confrontation Clause, and it's the reason a criminal defendant's attorney can cross-examine witnesses. However, there are many cases in which a witness might be afraid, unwilling or unable to testify or be cross-examined. Some of the most troubling of these cases are those involving accusations of child molestation.
Michigan prosecutors are aggressive when going after anyone accused of sex crimes, and never more so than when the allegations are of sex crimes against children. Those accused of these crimes need to work hard to build a defense.