On Tuesday, December 9, 20-year-old Francisco Paiva Sousa, a student at San Diego State University, was taken into custody after allegedly sexually assaulting another student at a house off campus, according to a news article at U-T San Diego. Although there have been 13 assaults involving students at the university this semester, this is the first arrest. The Lawyers Guide to Criminal Defense Ethics Pic

According to the victim, Sousa forced oral sex in a bathroom at a home located at 5074 College Ave. late Saturday evening or early Sunday morning. Originally, police believed the alleged assault had taken place at a fraternity house, however they later discovered it had taken place at an off campus house.

This sexual assault was the first one reported by an SDSU student in the month of December, however there have been 13 with this latest incident since August. Police say that most of the students who have reported being sexually assaulted chose not to press charges, and that most of the victims knew the person who assaulted them; alcohol was also a common factor in the incidents.

Sousa was booked into jail after being arrested on Tuesday afternoon on charges of false imprisonment with force, and suspicion of oral copulation with force. His bail was set at $100,000.

In the state of Michigan, forcing someone to perform oral sex is considered sexual penetration, which leaves the offender facing charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. This is the most serious sex crime of all in Michigan, and leaves the defendant facing a maximum term of life in prison if convicted. The mandatory minimum prison term depends on other factors including the age of the victim, relation, etc. For example, if someone who is 17 years of age or older is proven to have engaged in sexual penetration with someone younger than 13, the mandatory minimum prison term is 25 years.

In addition to losing their freedom, those who are found guilty of most sex offenses will be required to register as a sex offender. This is the most serious penalty of all for those who do not face long prison terms, as it will affect employment, where the sex offender may live, his/her right to own firearms, and most of all, reputation. Sex offenders are shunned by society, so having this label effectively alienates the offender from neighbors and others in the community.

If you have been accused of sexual assault, an Internet sex crime, or any related offense, consult with a capable and aggressive Michigan sex crime lawyer immediately. An arrest does not always result in a guilty verdict; your attorney can advise you of your legal options, and provide the guidance necessary to reach a good outcome.

Last week, a Hemlock man waived his right to a preliminary hearing in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a young female relative, according to a news article at Mlive.com. Salvador T. Hernandez, 49, is accused of sexually assaulting a victim who is said to be a relative and who is now a teenager over a six-year time period. He is now headed to Circuit Court for trial. Famous Criminal Law Cases in U.S. History Pic

Arraigned on the charges in August of this year, Hernandez’s attorney postponed the preliminary hearing indefinitely in order for his client to undergo a psychiatric exam to decide if Hernandez may be held criminally responsible, and whether he is mentally fit for trial. Saginaw County District Judge M.T. Thompson received a report from the Center for Forensic Psychiatry in Ypsilanti indicating that Hernandez is mentally competent to go to trial.

According to his arrest warrant, Hernandez is accused of sexually assaulting the female relative beginning in 2008 and through July of this year in Richland Township. He is charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct against someone younger than 13, and one count of first-degree CSC against a relative. First-degree criminal sexual conduct involves penetration, and carries a maximum prison term of life for those convicted.

Hernandez may now decide whether to plead guilty or no contest, not guilty and go to trial, or accept any plea agreements the prosecution may offer.

Sex crimes should be taken very seriously by anyone who is accused, under investigation, or has been arrested, as the criminal penalties are severe. Not only may those found guilty of sexual assault, rape, child pornography, or other crimes face substantial jail time or even life in prison depending on the circumstances, most will be required to register as sex offenders and therefore shunned by society for the rest of their lives. Sex offenders are also closely monitored by law enforcement and ordered to comply with certain restrictions in some cases.

If you have been accused of a sex offense, do not hesitate before contacting a seasoned Michigan sex crime defense attorney. Your freedom, future, and reputation are at risk; take action now to minimize the damage to your life.

Recently, a 21-year-old Grand Rapids man was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a weapon and other crimes after it was determined through DNA evidence that he raped a 22-year-old pregnant woman as she was walking from the bus stop to her home after work, according to a news article at Mlive.com. pregnancy-close-up-1372512-m

The alleged victim said that as she was walking, she heard someone quickly approaching from behind. She felt something being pressed against her neck, which the offender told her was a gun. The woman was six months pregnant, and said that she dropped her handbag and told the man to take anything, as she did not want her baby hurt. According to the woman, the man told her to shut up, that he would have no problem killing her. The man has now been identified as Martae Davon Rose after forensic testing showed that the DNA taken from the woman belonged to a man who gave a DNA sample following a 2012 conviction for attempted burglary.

The woman testified that during the October rape, Rose asked her if she was really pregnant before removing her pants and raping her. She said that he told her to stay quiet if anyone came by the area, that if anyone heard her, he would shoot her. In addition to first-degree CSC involving a weapon, Rose is charged with assault with intent to rob while armed, and unlawful imprisonment.

It is impossible to dispute DNA evidence, and this a horrific crime, particularly given that the woman is pregnant. However, Michigan sex crime attorneys know that there are countless situations in which innocent individuals are accused of rape and similar crimes. Without DNA or other compelling evidence, it is difficult to determine whether the alleged victim or perpetrator is telling the truth. Often times, innocent people are accused of sexual assault or other heinous crimes out of retaliation, jealousy, or spite. For instance, one parent of a child/children may accuse the other of child molestation in an effort to gain sole custody of the children. People do devious things when it supports their own motives.

If you have been falsely accused of a sex crime, it is urgent that you take action immediately to protect your freedom, reputation, and future. Contact an experienced and aggressive Michigan sex crime defense attorney who will thoroughly review your case and help you determine the best way to proceed.

In May, we wrote about Jeffrey Gage, a man who was charged with sexually assaulting three girls in Saginaw County between 1998 and early 2014. Gage was initially charged with six counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct under the age of 13, and two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. Personal Safety Guides Protect Yourself Against Sex Crimes Pic

In a plea deal with prosecutors, Gage agreed to plead no contest to a count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct by force or coercion and two counts of second-degree CSC against someone younger than 13 in exchange for prosecutors dropping the initial charges. This essentially means that Gage will spend time in prison, which the families of the victims agreed to. Had the case gone to trial, the alleged victims would have had to testify, something family members wanted to avoid. Gage could also have spent the remainder of his life in prison had he gone to trial and been found guilty, as first-degree criminal sexual conduct carries a maximum prison term of life.

The third-degree criminal sexual conduct charge involves penetration, and carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. Gage is scheduled for sentencing by Saginaw County Circuit Judge James T. Borchard on December 18.

Anyone who is accused of a sex crime faces serious consequences if convicted. In some cases, such as when the evidence is overwhelming, it may be advantageous for the defendant to plead no contest or guilty to a lesser charge. This usually results in significantly reduced criminal penalties, as in the case above.

Should you go to trial, or should you accept a plea deal from prosecutors? As all Michigan sex crime lawyers know, there are several legal options for clients who have been charged with sexual assault. Ultimately, an attorney’s goal is to achieve the best possible result in each client’s case. While defense lawyers hope to have charges dismissed or obtain an acquittal at trial, there are times when a plea deal is the right option.

If you have been arrested or charged with any sex offense, consult with a skilled and aggressive Michigan sex crime attorney immediately so that work can begin to defend your legal rights and freedom.

Ruben Carerra, a 27-year-old Houston police officer who has worked at Central Command since 2012, was recently charged with sexual assault of a child after he allegedly had a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl. Carerra admitted to the accusations, saying that he and the girl had a “dating relationship.” police-cruiser-1066864-m

The alleged victim works at a Chick-Fil-A restaurant, where co-workers reported the relationship after witnessing Carerra picking up the girl at the restaurant and leaving in his patrol car. One co-worker said that they came in like a “normal couple.”

The alleged victim told investigators that she and Carerra went a lot further than kissing, and that on one occasion, he answered a radio call while in his uniform. The girl told authorities while being interviewed that she and Carerra were lying on her bed kissing, and that he asked her if she wanted to do “it.” She claims that she declined having sex, but that he sexually assaulted her.

Neighbors of the girl said they would notice a police care parked at the girl’s home for hours, and at first believed there was a criminal investigation going on.

Carrera was relieved of his duties pending the outcome of the case. He was freed on a $50,000 bond.

Even when a minor agrees to a sexual relationship with someone who is older, those under a certain age cannot lawfully give consent. Even though the alleged victim in this situation was clearly having a romantic relationship with the police officer, it is unlawful for an adult to engage in sexual relations with someone who is underage.

If found guilty of he charges, Carrera could spend up to 20 years in prison under Texas law.

In Michigan, the age at which someone can consent to sexual relations is 16. This means that any adult who engages in sexual relations with a minor younger than 16, even if the minor agrees, can be charged with statutory rape. When the minor is older than 13 but younger than 16, the offender may face up to 15 years if convicted.

Regardless of the situation, all sex crimes are serious, and punished severely for those convicted. If you have been accused of statutory rape, Internet sex crimes, or any related offense, the best defense is to hire a capable and skilled Michigan sex crime defense attorney.

On Sunday morning November 16, Eli Bronson Burdette was arraigned on sexual assault charges after he allegedly assaulted a woman on Friday night at the Peninsular Place apartments in Ypsilanti, according to a news article at Mlive.com. athletic-tracks-3-1347223-m

Burdette, who is a track athlete at Eastern Michigan University, has been charged with one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of first-degree CSC, which involve penetration. Police were notified of the sexual assault on Saturday morning, after the alleged victim was able to leave her apartment. She alleges that following the sexual assault she was prevented from leaving her apartment, but once Burdette left, she notified police.

Burdette lives in the same apartment complex as the victim; he was arrested without incident. Police reports indicated that the sexual assault took place sometime between 11:30 p.m. Friday evening and 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

A native of Mansfield, Ohio, Burdette competes in throws at EMU and is a full time student. Following the charges, he was suspended from the track team indefinitely, pending the outcome of the case. His preliminary exam has been set for November 25.

News reports do not indicate whether Burdette was a friend of the alleged victim’s, or why he was at her apartment. An experienced Michigan sex crime defense attorney would thoroughly investigate to learn of any possible relationship between the two, and if the sexual activity may have been consensual. There is no doubt that sexual assault is a crime that is committed with alarming frequency, however there are also many instances in which an innocent person is accused of rape after engaging in consensual sexual activity.

Anyone who is accused of sexual assault, indecent exposure, possession of child pornography, or any similar offense must take action immediately to protect your freedom and legal rights. Contact a skilled and aggressive criminal defense lawyer who is highly experienced and capable in the area of sex crimes to ensure the best possible result in your case.

On Wednesday, November 12, a 37-year-old Jackson County woman was found guilty of five counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct for helping her husband, who was sentenced to a minimum of 60 years in prison in December, sexually assault the couple’s 3-year-old girl. The names of the man and woman were not released in order to protect the identity of the victim, who shares her parent’s last name. An Attorney's Guide to a Career in Law Pic

The woman was originally charged with seven counts of first-degree CSC on the theory that she aided and abetted her husband in committing the acts of sexual abuse. He pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree CSC as part of a plea deal offered by the prosecution in exchange for his testimony against his wife, who he claimed knew about the sexual assault, and even assisted with at times.

In an interview with Blackman-Leoni public safety Detectives Joseph Merritt and Sgt. Christopher Boulter, the woman described numerous abusive acts that took place between October of 2012 and May of 2013, when the family resided at a hotel in Blackman Township. Jurors watched the interview, which was six hours long.

Testimony by the defendant’s husband, investigators, and a licensed forensic psychologist helped form the decision of the jury. The woman will now face a minimum of 25 years for each charge; she is scheduled to be sentenced on January 7 by Jackson County Circuit Judge John G. McBain.

Michigan sex crime attorneys understand that there are people who commit horrendous acts against victims, sometimes their own children. While this abuse is absolutely unacceptable, there are also individuals who are wrongly accused of committing rape, child molestation, or other sex offenses. It happens every day in our country. Allegations of sexual abuse of children are not uncommon, especially in situations where one parent or the other is trying to gain full custody of the children, or in situations where someone attempts to get revenge or “pay back” someone else. People can be deceitful and purposely ruin others’ lives when it suits their purpose.

If you have been accused of sexual assault, an Internet sex crime, or any related offense, it is critical that you take action immediately to protect your legal rights, freedom, and reputation. A conviction for a sex crime will ruin your reputation forever, and possibly your career. Contact a skilled and aggressive Michigan sex crime defense lawyer who will begin work on your case today.

In January, we wrote about Sarah M. Raymo, a Bay City middle school teacher who had been accused of having sex with a student who was between the ages of 13 and 16. Raymo eventually pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct; she had initially been charged with four counts of first-degree CSC, the most serious of all sex crimes. Prosecutors dismissed these charges in exchange for Raymo’s pleas. Now, a judge has sentenced 32-year-old Raymo to a minimum of 7 years and six months in prison, an upward departure from state sentencing guidelines. apple-on-the-desk-1428611-m

Raymo knew when she entered her guilty pleas to third-degree criminal sexual conduct that she would spend four years and nine months in prison, however the judge decided to use the higher end of the sentencing guidelines, calling Raymo’s actions a “horrendous crime.” She was sentenced on Monday to 7 years 6 months to 15 years in prison.

Raymo has no prior convictions, and according to her defense attorney the facts of the case do not constitute predatory conduct. Reyes said that using a classroom journal, the alleged victim initiated sexual conversations with Raymo, which then led to text messaging conversations. He said that while the alleged victim cannot consent to sexual intercourse, he could be capable of initiating conversations that were sexual in nature.

Bay County Chief Circuit Judge Kenneth W. Schmidt said in sentencing Raymo that, “Taking everything into consideration and including the fact that you violated the trust placed in you as a teacher of students, particularly the age of these students – we’re talking about eighth grade – the higher end of the guidelines is appropriate.”

The teen victim said that he and Raymo had sex on six to eight occasions and that some of the encounters took place in her Essexville home, while others occurred in the classroom.

In Michigan, a person who is 13 but younger than 16 cannot lawfully give consent to engage in sexual acts with an adult, however this does not prevent a young teenager from initiating the contact. Clearly, the teacher in this case should have refrained from the behavior she allegedly engaged in, however she now faces a substantial number of years in prison, more than she anticipated prior to pleading guilty due to the judge’s upward departure from sentencing guidelines.

If you have been accused of having sexual relations with a minor or student, child molestation, child pornography, or any crime of a sexual nature, take action immediately to protect your freedom, reputation, and future. Consult with a highly skilled and aggressive Michigan sex crime defense lawyer.

Recently, 61-year-old William Miller was charged with sexual assault in connection with an assault that is reported to have taken place about a decade ago on a farm, according to news reports at Mlive.com. Miller is a part-time youth minister at St. Catherine Parish in Ravenna and St. Francis Xavier Parish in Conklin, although authorities say that the alleged sexual assault is not related to his church activities. He has been charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, the most serious sex charge of all. red-barn-on-farm-1423314-m

The alleged victim came forward a few weeks ago, however authorities would not say what compelled her to come forward when she did, only that it was not “unusual” for victims of sex crimes to wait for years before coming forward. According to the alleged victim, the sexual assault took place while she was working on a farm.

While the alleged sexual assault did not involve church related activities or church property, Miller has been suspended from his position as youth minister after church officials heard the news. Miller had been a youth minister in the two parishes he grew up in for about seven years; he lives in the Conklin are on Rolling Acres Farm.

Miller posted bail and was released from jail last week. He was ordered to have no contact with farm employees younger than age 18.

Why did the alleged victim come forward ten years later, and are the allegations true? These are just two of the questions Michigan sex crime attorneys would demand answers to in defending an individual accused of sexual assault. When substantial time has passed since an alleged crime occurred, any concrete evidence may be gone forever. It is extremely difficult to uncover the truth when so much time has passed.

Regardless of what really happened or whether Miller has been wrongly accused, it is imperative that anyone who is accused of sexual assault or rape obtain the legal guidance of a skilled and aggressive Michigan sex crime lawyer immediately. The criminal penalties for those found guilty are extremely harsh, and may include up to life in prison depending on the offense. It is vital to take immediate action in an effort to protect your freedom and reputation.

Recently, 35-year-old Chad Gregory Earnest of Roosevelt Park was charged with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with a mental-health client he had been the case manager for over the last year. Earnest, a case manager at CMH (Community Health Services) of Muskegon County, has now been placed on unpaid leave. mental-health-series-466728-m

Under Michigan penal code 750.520e, it is unlawful for a professional in the mental health field to have sexual contact with a client. According to an article at Mlive.com, Earnest picked the female client up in late October and made sexual comments to her while driving around in his vehicle. The two allegedly had sexual contact on at least two occasions.

In this case, prosecutors only have to prove that a professional/client relationship existed; it does not have to be proven that the woman did not consent to sexual contact. News reports indicate that the woman told her counselor about the incidents, who then informed Muskegon police. Matthew Kacel, the defendant’s attorney, said that his client is a well-respected member of the local mental health community.

Earnest’s next appearance in court will be for a probable cause hearing, which is set for November 12.

Fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct is a high-court misdemeanor that does not involve penetration. The maximum punishment for those convicted is two years in prison.

Michigan sex crime attorneys understand that in cases such as this, possible time behind bars is not the only consequence those found guilty face. Professionals who work in a capacity such as Earnest may face ruin of their careers and reputation. When an individual works in an atmosphere where individuals have mental issues, it is often difficult to know whether the allegations are true, or fabricated.

Any allegations of sexual misconduct should be taken seriously, regardless of the circumstances. If you have been accused of sexual touching or something more serious including rape, it is critical to consult with a seasoned Michigan sex crime lawyer who will develop an aggressive defense and work to protect your legal rights and freedom.