A man who has been imprisoned on conviction of Birmingham sex crimes has had additional charges against him dismissed.
Birmingham sex crimes defense attorneys understand that that the 77-year-old, who is already serving a 20-year sentence, was reportedly preparing to face another trial for sex abuse alleged by two girls who attended a day care that is now closed.
According to The Birmingham News, the defendant was convicted last year of sexual abuse of an 8-year-old girl at the day care center. However, two other girls, who were age 5 at the time, had also reportedly accused the man of abusing them. But a jury was not able to reach a verdict with regard to their alleged abuse.
An appeal of his conviction on the one sexual abuse charge was upheld – so he remains incarcerated. However, the case brought by prosecutors on behalf of the 5-year-olds was dropped.
Prosecutors are saying it’s not that they don’t believe the crimes occurred, but rather that they don’t want to put the young girls through a second trial.
However, this does not stop the girls’ parents from pressing forward with a civil suit against the defendant. The pending civil litigation is against not only the defendant, but also the day care center itself, the church sponsor and others who were involved with the day care.
The man’s Birmingham defense attorney said his client has maintained his innocence from day one. He was quoted by reporters as saying that his client has no money, other than what little he may earn while working in the prison. So to sue civilly, he said, doesn’t make much sense.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, his client would be 96 when he is eligible for release.
What’s important to note in cases such as these is that when you have a defendant who is a child, there is a good amount of reasonable doubt that can be raised. It’s not that children often lie. However, a child is far more vulnerable to suggestion than adults. That means that something may not have occurred, but when someone begins to question them about it, they can get confused and give answers that they believe the adults want to hear.
What’s more, if a child is very young, they may have a skewed concept of timing of certain events, they may get certain people confused and many have very vivid imaginations.
Again, this is not to say they are all lying. And in fact, it’s important to know that even if you did commit a sex crime, there are approaches that an experienced Birmingham sex crime defense attorney can take to minimize the consequences – particularly if it is your first offense.
According to Alabama Code 13A-6-69.1, sexual abuse of a child younger than 12 is defined as any sexual contact with by a person over the age of 16 with a person under the age of 12. This is considered a Class B felony, which means a minimum imprisonment of two years and a maximum imprisonment of 20 years. A Class B felony that involves a child (as it did in this case) means that a conviction will garner you no less than 10 years in prison, according to Section 15-20-21(5).
And it’s not even over once you’re released. If your offense involves a child, you’ll be subject to a minimum of 10 years supervised release by a parole officer.
That’s why it’s so important in these cases not to discuss the case with anyone other than your attorney and also to not leave your fate in the hands of a public defender.