Sexual assault allegations and charges can impact victims and alleged offenders of all walks of life. Those who are accused of sexual assault or abuse include professionals, politicians, and athletes, as well as low-income defendants. In a recent case, a Tuscaloosa police officer was arrested for allegedly assaulting and strangling his wife. If convicted, the officer could face severe penalties, including jail time, fines, and a criminal record. The case is a reminder that even police officers are not above the law.
According to reports, defendant worked as a patrol officer with the Tuscaloosa police department and has since been placed on administrative leave. For professionals, including police officers, getting accused of a violent crime, domestic abuse, or sexual assault can have serious and long-term repercussions. Our Birmingham criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of the accused and in ensuring that every defendant gets a fair trial. In domestic abuse and cases involving violent crime, competing facts can make it difficult to determine what happened and who was at fault. Every defendant should consult with an experienced attorney who can sort through facts and allegations to ensure they are not over-charged or over-penalized.
Authorities reported that the investigation and arrest were handled by the homicide unit in Tuscaloosa, which is responsible for handling the most violent criminal cases in the area. The unit was assigned to the case after reports of domestic violence in the police officer’s family home. According to the 37-year-old victim, her husband threw her into a chair, held her there and tried to strangle her from behind. Prior to the attack, the victim also alleges that her husband sexually assaulted her. While the case is still under investigation, it is unknown whether the victim had a motive to falsely accuse her husband or whether there was a history of abuse in the relationship.
The homicide unit investigated the case and presented the facts to a magistrate, who approved the warrant for the officer’s arrest. The Tuscaloosa officer was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree sodomy and one count of domestic violence strangulation. He was booked at the Tuscaloosa County jail with a bond set at $65,000, which was paid days after the arrest. According to court records, the couple were married in 2000 and have two children. They are also separated and filed for divorce in 2012.
In addition to criminal penalties, domestic assault and sexual abuse cases involving a spouse or family member can also impact your rights as a parent or in a divorce matter. In some cases involving divorce, one spouse may falsely allege domestic assault or abuse to gain the upper hand in a custody matter. For individuals facing divorce who have been accused of a crime, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Building a strategic and sound defense from the outset can improve your opportunities to defeat charges and reduce penalties.