A 36-year-old North Jacksonville man faces charges of sexual battery and burglary after a woman was allegedly forced inside her home at gunpoint and another woman inside the home was raped, The Florida Times-Union recently reported.
Sex crimes in Jacksonville can mean anything from unknowingly exposing oneself to a person nearby to a forcible felony, such as a rape. While the severity of these charges varies, the stigma attached is very similar — people are ostracized even without a conviction. That’s why fighting these charges with an aggressive approach is so important. Hiring an experienced Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney who can vigorously attack all aspects of the state’s case should be the first step.
According to the newspaper account, a woman walked outside of her home to smoke when a man approached and pointed a gun at her, according to a police report. The woman was forced inside her house, where they met another woman and a person the newspaper states was only identified as a witness.
The gunman forced the witness into the kitchen and the woman into a bedroom. According to the newspaper, the man ordered both women to lie face-down on the bed and then raped one of them before leaving.
The man reportedly had a gray T-shirt over his face, but the rape victim told police she thought she had seen him the other day standing near her apartment with someone else. When the woman saw the man again recently, she called police, who arrested the man after an interview.
In cases involving allegations of sexual assault, police and prosecutors typically have to rely on the word of the alleged victim against the word of the alleged suspect. Sometimes, DNA is available, but even DNA can be disproven because of weak samples or contaminated samples.
In he said/she said cases, the defense is at an advantage, because without physical evidence or solid eye witness evidence, it may be difficult for the state to prove charges beyond a reasonable doubt. While many people who see a person arrested for rape automatically believe the suspect is guilty, the state has a heavy burden in proving the case.
And along with disputing the facts of the case — any physical evidence, witness statements, police actions and other aspects — fending off long prison sentences is a key part of the defense. In Florida, a person who is convicted of certain sex cases, such as sexual assault and rape, can face years or decades in prison.
And even if a person faces a fairly light prison sentence upon conviction, they must register as a sex offender. This means the person’s face, tattoos, address and other information will be found on state and national web site databases, searchable by anyone, anywhere. Whenever a person moves, they’ll be required to inform law enforcement and neighbors will get fliers telling them the person lives nearby.
All of this is humiliating, which is why defending these cases is so important. Failure to register as a sex offender can result in additional charges and additional jail or prison time. So, while most cases require punishment and a person can move on with life after “doing the time,” sex crimes in Florida live on forever.
The Forbess Law Firm has been helping clients facing criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today through our website. Or call us at 904-634-0900.
More Blog Entries:
Man Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charges in Jacksonville: July 27, 2011
Jacksonville Sex Offender Custody Case Highlights Importance of Criminal Defense: July 7, 2011
Northside man arrested Monday, charged with July 26 rape and burglary, by Dan Scanlan, The Florida Times-Union