A few weeks ago, we represented a client charged with first degree criminal sexual conduct in a small county close to Traverse City. First degree criminal sexual conduct is a felony punishable by up to life in prison. A conviction would not only require prison, but also registration as a sex offender for life. The stakes could not have been any higher.
The case was charged as first degree criminal sexual conduct based on two theories – first, that the alleged victim was physically helpless and injured; or, in the alternative, that the alleged victim was raped by force or coercion and physically injured. The claims resulted after a New Years get together where a young woman could not remember what happened the next day when she woke up in a bed with a young man and was bleeding.
When you work with our team, you will see that we immediately have strategies and back-up strategies to fight your case. In this case, we investigated the possible motives of the alleged victim and were able to determine why she claimed to be a victim of rape. We uncovered text messages, witnesses, and photographs that saved our client’s life.
In this day and age, it is absolutely unsafe for any young man to engage in any sexual contact with a female, particularly when she has been drinking. We asked the jury their opinions about this intensely before the trial began….and it was critical in securing a not guilty on a first degree criminal sexual conduct case. The jury admitted that in this day and age, the #metoo movement has changed the landscape of allegations and cases, and has made it easier to cast blame…even when the other participant was a willing and consenting sexual partner.
Our firm is proud of this result and firmly believes we saved the life of an innocent young man. The jury agreed – many of the jurors commented that the jury experience was better than they ever could have expected and they took so much away from it. They only deliberated 25 minutes before finding our client not guilty and returning their verdict. When we spoke to them afterwards with the prosecutor, they were firm that they felt justice was well served on a first degree criminal sexual conduct case.
Based on the #metoo movement, we believe that many young people may find themselves in this situation in the future. We are here to help. Please call our office for a consultation if you or a loved one finds yourself in this situation. We can help!