The jury deliberated for only one hour before coming back with the not guilty verdict. Charbonneau was accused of raping his wife in February of this year, when he visited her home. According to the news article, the two had been working on getting back together after a period of separation and seeing other people. Charbonneau was charged with one count of larceny in a building for allegedly stealing his wife’s wedding ring, and two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
At trial, the prosecution argued that while at his estranged wife’s home, Charbonneau became angry with her and forced her into having sex before stealing her wedding ring and leaving with it. Charbonneau’s defense attorney agreed that his client did have sex with his wife, however it was consensual. Charbonneau and his wife testified at trial, although it was not revealed what either said during testimony.
Had Charbonneau been convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, he would have faced up to life in prison. First-degree CSC is the most serious sex charge of all, and involves penetration.
Most Michigan sex crime attorneys would not find the outcome of this case at all surprising. When two individuals are involved in a tumultuous relationship, accusations may be made out of anger or revenge. While a wife can certainly be raped by her husband or forced into having sexual relations without giving consent, it is generally hard to prove, especially considering the two were working on putting their relationship back together.
All sex crime allegations should be taken very seriously, as a conviction will result in serious and even life-changing consequences. Had the defendant in this case been found guilty, he could be spending the rest of his life or a substantial number of years behind bars. Sex crimes are prosecuted vigorously in the state of Michigan, whether an individual is accused of possessing or distributing child pornography, child molestation, or any type of sexual abuse or assault. It is vital to consult with a skilled and aggressive Michigan sex crime lawyer in an effort to protect your freedom, reputation, and future.