A fourth relative of a missing teenager is facing charges of sex crimes in Mobile. The 20-year-old Daphne resident is charged with sex abuse, incest and rape, according to the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Department. The Lord-Press Register reports he is in jail on $20,000 bond.
Alabama defense attorneys handling sex crimes know how difficult these cases can be. The public is proned to jumping to conclusions long before the case gets to court — if it ever gets there at all. Mere allegations can ruin reputations. And the penalities of being a convicted sex offender, including sex-offender registration and notification laws, will impact the rest of your life.
In this case, the defendant’s brother has already been arrest on charges of rape and sodomy; two uncles were arrested June 19 on charges of incest, sodomy and sexual abuse.
The latest arrest was reportedly the result of at least one of the defendants cooperating with investigators. We MUST stop right there. Speaking to detectives is never a wise move before speaking to an experienced defense attorney. Investigators understand these cases are embarassing to a defendant and will use that as leverage to obtain information. No deal struck with police is valid without input from the prosecutor and your attorney.
And often, the most damning evidence a defense attorney must overcome, is the statements a client makes after arrest or while under investigation. In many cases, law enforcement may not have enough to make a case but will make an arrest as a Hail Mary, hoping to coherse one or more defendants into cooperating.
The 19-year-old girl disappeared while visiting an uncle who committed suicide the next day.
In other news, the Etowah County sheriff’s office reports a 53-year-old Alpharetta man is facing charges of first-degree sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12 and one count of first-degree sodomy. The allegations are in connection with the alleged abuse of a young female in various locations in Etowah, Calhoun and Jefferson counties over the past two years.
-Under Alabama Law, Section 13A-6-66 – Sexual abuse in the first degree is a Class C Felony carrying a penalty of two to 20 years in prison.
-Under Alabama Law, Section 13A-6-69.1 – Sexual abuse of a child less than 12 years old is a Class B felony carrying a penalty of 2 to 25 years in prison.
Defending against sex charges in Alabama requires an experienced attorney who can look at the allegations and first determine whether a defendant is appropriately charged. Not whether there is evidence to prove a crime occurred, mind you, but whether a defendant has been properly charged by authorities given the behavior alleged. Federal and state sex crimes laws offer authorities a wide array of possible charges. Rape, sodomy and sexual abuse are just a few of the crimes that can be charged in varing degrees. Some criminal charges can even be considered a misdemeanor or felony, depending on how they are charged.
A thorough review of the initial facts can often result in a strategy to seek an immediate reduction or dismissal of the charges before a more through defense is even begun.