Recently, a 26-year-old Brockton man was indicted on child rape charges by a Grand Jury in Superior Court. According to news reports, Nicholas D. Johnson is a West Bridgewater cheerleading coach who allegedly raped a female student who is 14 years old at his Brockton apartment.
Reports claim Johnson met the student at the Full House All Star Cheer Gym, where he was a cheerleading instructor. Brockton Police Lt. Kenneth LeGrice said that Johnson drove the girl from the gym to his apartment in early October, where he raped her. Prosecutors in the case say Johnson was fired from the studio the week he was arrested. He now faces charges of enticement of a child under the age of 16, aggravated rape of a child, and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.
LeGrice also said that the girl had sent illicit photos of herself to Johnson using a cell phone. After telling a friend about the incident, police were notified. According to the alleged victim, she was raped one time. Johnson pleaded not guilty at his October 19 arraignment, and as of December 1 remained incarcerated on a $50,000 bail.
In situations like this, it is difficult to know whether an alleged victim was actually raped or not. If there is a lack of physical evidence, it is often a case of what both individuals involved say happened. As every Michigan sex crimes attorney knows, illicit photos on a cell phone do not prove a rape occurred, although it certainly may have.
When a person is accused of sexual assault, rape, or other similar crimes, there are often legal options available. It is usually not a case of either pleading guilty or not guilty and going to trial. Many cases can be settled through a plea bargain, whereby the defendant pleads to a lesser crime and therefore faces lighter punishment. Charges may be completely dismissed if there is no compelling evidence or witness testimony. It is very difficult to prove allegations in cases where there is a total lack of evidence. That being said, many people are unfortunately found guilty even though the allegations against them cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Ultimately, the most important step someone accused of a sex-related offense can take is to consult with a skilled and aggressive Michigan sex crimes lawyer who will thoroughly investigate the allegations, examine any evidence, and work with the accused to determine how to best move forward in order to obtain positive results.