In Michigan, sex crimes are charged as criminal sexual conduct. There are four different degrees of criminal sexual conduct, depending on the age of the alleged victim and the specific offense. Because sex crime convictions can result in mandatory sex offender registration, it is important that anyone charged with this type of crime consult with an experienced defense attorney immediately.
A former Michigan police officer who has recently been charged with sexually assaulting a domestic violence victim back in February knows this all too well. The 42-year-old officer responded to a domestic violence call involving a woman and her husband in Southgate early one morning.
While on duty, the officer apparently brought the 41-year-old woman to the Holiday Inn Southgate Banquet & Conference Center for her safety. According to the authorities, the officer later returned to the room and sexually assaulted her.
The alleged incident caused the man, who had served as a police officer in Southgate since 2000, to be the subject of a Garrity hearing. In this type of proceeding, an officer is allowed to be questioned about certain events, but his responses cannot be used as evidence against him in a criminal trial. After this hearing in March, the man left his position at the police department.
He has now been charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct, which could result in up to 15 years in prison. He was also charged with misconduct in office, which could bring five years behind bars, and neglect of duty, which carries a maximum penalty of one year.
Because even a sex crime allegation can cause serious damage to a person's career and reputation, it is important that the accused person's side of the story is heard. Since many of these cases come down to "he said, she said," it is a good idea to hire a defense lawyer who knows how to effectively cross-examine.
Source: The News-Herald, "Former police officer charged with committing sexual assault while on duty," Rene Cizio, 31 May 2011