Sexual Assault and Sex Crimes Are All Over the News

//Sexual Assault and Sex Crimes Are All Over the News

Sexual Assault and Sex Crimes Are All Over the News

By |2018-10-05T22:00:44+00:00October 5th, 2018|criminal defense law|0 Comments

From the MeToo Movement to the recent allegations regarding a potential sexual assault committed by Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh in high school alleged by his former high school classmate Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, sexual assault allegations and sex crimes have been all over the news recently.  Some of the biggest news to come in the last several weeks was Bill Cosby’s prison sentence of 3-10 years in Pennsylvania state prison for his April 2018 conviction on the charge of aggravated indecent assault.  The charges related to the 2004 drugging and raping at Cosby’s home of Andrea Constand, whom Cosby gave pills to knock her out and then sexually assaulted.  This trial marked the first of dozens of similar sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby to go to trial. The trial on these charges in mid-2018 followed a previous prosecutor’s decision not to go forward with the charges when Constand first reported the assault to authorities in 2005.  However, in 2015, a new prosecutor reopened the investigation and filed charges shortly thereafter, arresting Cosby in late 2015.  A jury deadlocked when the case first went to trial, but prosecutors re-filed the case and the second jury convicted Cosby.

Bill Cosby’s Reported Long History of Similar Sexual Assaults

This verdict against Cosby followed decades of allegations, similar to those made by Andrea Constand, by multiple women, including a number of celebrities, who claimed that Cosby had drugged and sexually abused them.  Despite being accused by more than a dozen women of this behavior over a period of more than 30 years, Cosby had never yet actually faced trial on any of the charges.  Although he has been sued multiple times in civil lawsuits relating to the alleged assaults, the lack of criminal prosecutions is mostly due to the fact that the statute of limitations period for bringing charges against Cosby had passed in relation to most of the previous allegations.  However, as it relates to his assault of Constand, that incident was recent enough that Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations period for filing charges had not yet run on Constand’s claims.  The new prosecution team was therefore able to reopen the case and pursue charges against Cosby.

How Does Cosby’s Sentence Stack Up Compared to What He Could Have Received?

Cosby was ultimately sentenced to 3-10 years and given a $25,000 fine and ordered to pay the costs of the prosecution.  Perhaps most significantly, he also was designated a “sexually violent predator,” which under Pennsylvania law requires lifetime registration, lifetime mandatory sex offender counseling, and notification to the community that a “sexually violent predator” lives in the area.  The prison sentence falls roughly in line with the recommended sentence under Pennsylvania’s sentencing guidelines, which recommended 22-36 months in prison for Cosby.  The prosecution had asked for 5-10 years imprisonment, while Cosby’s attorneys had argued that he should be placed under house arrest due to his failing health, including his almost complete blindness.

Nevertheless, as shown in the Cosby case, sexual assault, rape, and similar crimes are taken seriously under virtually every jurisdiction’s laws and carry with them some of the stiffest penalties of any criminal offense.  They also carry with them some of the longest statutes of limitations of any crimes on the books, for the simple reason that many times victims of sexual assault and other sex crimes will not speak out until years after the offense has occurred.  This was true with Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who did not come out publicly with allegations until 36 years after the incident allegedly occurred.  In Florida, some sex crimes like rape are considered so serious they do not even carry with them a statute of limitations, while someone convicted of rape can face up to 15 years in prison.  Sex crimes are very serious, and anyone accused of a sex crime in Florida needs to be aware they are facing not only a long prison sentence, but also mandatory registration as a sex offender even after a lengthy term of imprisonment.

Contact Experienced Palm Beach County Criminal Defense Attorney Bryan Raymond If You Have Been Accused of or Charged with Sexual Assault in Palm Beach County, Florida

If you have been arrested or are facing criminal charges in Palm Beach County, Florida for sexual assault or any other sex crime, you will need an aggressive criminal defense attorney who will fight the charges from the first appearance all the way through the end of trial.  Being convicted of a sex crime in Florida is among the most serious offenses that someone can be charged with, as these types of crimes also are associated with some of the most severe penalties of any criminal offense.  This can include a long prison term, sizeable fines, and the requirement to register with the state as a sex offender after a defendant is released from prison.  This can result in someone being denied the opportunity to live in certain areas, make it more difficult to find a job and even a place to live once your debt to society has supposedly been paid and you are released from prison.  If you’ve been arrested for or charged with a sex crime in Palm Beach County, contact experienced criminal defense attorney Bryan Raymond today at (561) 682-1115 or bryan@raymondlaw.net.