A 47-year-old man was recently found not guilty of sex crime charges leveled against him concerning an alleged incident that occurred while on a camping trip.
William Gauthier of Baraga, Michigan, was found not guilty on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct following jury deliberation on Wednesday, December 12th. If Gauthier had been found guilty of the charges against him, he could have faced possible life in prison.
The charges stemmed from a camping trip in which a woman, who was not named in news reports, claimed that Baraga had sex with her, although she was intoxicated and therefore incapacitated. Gauthier originally went on trial in August for the charges, but a mistrial was ruled when a member of the jury suffered a mental breakdown during deliberations. Throughout the ordeal, Gauthier maintained his innocence and claimed that the sexual relations were consensual. Apparently, jurors agreed.
The alleged victim claimed that Gauthier took advantage of her while she was drunk. Jay S. Finch, Gauthier’s attorney, stated in media reports that “The jury carefully deliberated and reached the right outcome based on the evidence.” He also said that Gauthier is relieved that the situation has been settled and is now behind him. Ten witnesses testified during the course of the trial, which lasted three days.
Michigan sex crime defense lawyers know that the story above is all too common, and that innocent individuals are accused of crimes they did not commit every day. It is extremely common for someone to have sexual relations with another individual while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, then make allegations of rape or sexual assault after the fact. While this is not always the case, it does happen frequently, particularly if one of the parties involved later becomes angry or vengeful.
If you have been falsely accused of sexual misconduct know matter how minor or serious it may seem, do not hesitate to consult with a skilled Michigan sex crime defense attorney right away. Police take these accusations extremely seriously, and you may find yourself facing charges that could land you in prison for life, or for a large portion of your life. Do not take chances when it is your freedom, career, and reputation at risk.