In December of last year, 47-year-old James D. Card of Bay City was charged with sexually assaulting a woman in a Bangor Township home while she slept. The woman told authorities that she told the defendant to stop, but he persisted. Now, a jury as acquitted Card of the charges, finding him not guilty after only 20 minutes of deliberating according to a news article at Mlive.com.
Card was charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct in the August 2012 incident. Card’s defense attorney said that his client maintained his innocence, and that it was a consensual, sexual relationship.
The alleged victim was sleeping in the defendant’s home when she made the accusation. According to his defense lawyer, Card said that the woman was upset due to the fact that her boyfriend found out she had slept at his home, so she alleged that he had raped her. Card and the woman had reportedly had a few drinks at a couple of bars before going to his home and having sex. Card did not testify at trial. Had he been found guilty, the criminal penalties include up to 15 years in prison.
This incident clearly demonstrates how easily an innocent individual can be accused – and even charged – with a crime he or she did not commit. Accusations of sexual assault or rape are extremely serious; in cases where an individual is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, the maximum punishment is life in prison if found guilty. Being labeled a sex offender can also destroy a person’s life, career, and reputation.
It is an unfortunate fact that in our society, people often wrongly accuse others of sex crimes for a variety of reasons including anger, jealousy, or in this case, as a way to cover up their misdeeds. If you have been arrested or charged with rape, child molestation, or any sex offense, consult with a capable and aggressive Michigan sex crime defense attorney immediately. It is vital that work begin on your case at once to protect your freedom and prevent a conviction.