Articles Posted in Sexual Assault

Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to accuse someone of sexual assault in today’s society. Many who accuse others of sexual assault do so when they aren’t clear on what actually occurred due to the fact they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or simply made wrongful allegations out of spite or revenge. iStock_000000182036XSmall-300x224

Recently a Roman Catholic priest in Northern Michigan was found not guilty by a jury of allegedly sexually assaulting another priest. According to news reports, Reverend Sylvestre Obwaka was acquitted of sexually assaulting another priest who testified in court that while visiting Obwaka and spending a night in Rogers City at the rectory at St. Ignatius Church, he was sexually assaulted by the priest. Obwaka did not deny sexual contact, however he did maintain the consensual sex took place following a night of drinking.

Obwaka is a native of Kenya and became pastor at St. Ignatius in 2013, although he has been a priest since 2010. Gaylor Bishop Steven Raica, a witness at the three-day trial who reportedly spoke to the accused following the alleged assault said that Obwaka didn’t indicate consensual sex between the two priests. Bishop Raica spoke on the phone with Obwaka, and said he was concerned when the priest admitted he couldn’t recall what occurred between him and the alleged victim.

Dating violence is far more common than most of us think, and often involvessexual assault sexual assault or “rape.”  Whether a couple has been dating for a year or it is a first date makes no difference.  A forced sexual act without the consent of the other person is unlawful, and could result in criminal charges if the alleged victim decides to come forth and report it to law enforcement.  Dating violence in Michigan as well as other states knows no boundaries in terms of age; sexual assault can happen to someone who’s 13, 18, 40, 60, or even older.

In some cases of sexual assault a victim may have been drugged with a “date rape” drug such as Rohypnol, a powerful sedative.  In other cases, those involved in a dating relationship may have engaged in drug activity, drinking alcohol, or other substances that can impair a person’s ability to think rationally.  In many cases of dating violence involving sexual assault, there are no outside factors – it’s simply a case of one person wanting to engage in sex, while the other person doesn’t.  When one party does not consent or give permission to engage in sex (regardless of whether the non-consenting person is male or female), he or she may be the victim of sexual assault or rape.
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Most people who think of sex offenders automatically believe a male is the perpetrator. The fact is, the incidence of sexual violence or assault involving women who are the offenders is growing. While the tendency to commit sexual crimes can emerge in adolescence, many offenses involving teens or adults go unreported, regardless of whether the alleged offender is male or female.

Approximately 9% of youths report they were the victims of some form of sexual violence in a Growing Up With Media national study in 2010 in which information was collected online. The acts committed against these youths included coercive sex, forced sexual contact, attempted rape, and completed rape. Interestingly, the results of the study found that while males were more likely to commit a sex-related offense against a younger victim, offenses in which females were the perpetrators most often involved victims who were older. Additionally, the study concluded that males tend to commit sexual violence at an earlier age than females, which may suggest different developmental courses.

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On Monday, a Knoxville Police Dept. file was released which documents a three-month long investigation into the alleged sexual assault of a woman by a University of Tennessee football player on September 20 of last year. While the player’s name has not been released, he will not face sexual assault charges according to news reports. police-on-the-scene-1172422-m

The woman claimed she had been having drinks at a bar with some friends, and the next thing she was aware of was waking up naked in the bed of a white male who was a stranger; he reportedly asked her to leave his apartment. The woman didn’t remember anything in between, and claimed she had been sexually assaulted.

The woman did have a rape exam two days later, however police were not notified until September 23. Documents in the police file included an email from District Attorney Charme Allen dated December 8 in which the DA declined to prosecute the player. Other documentation in the file revealed that a DNA test showed no identifying matches to the man accused, nor was there any evidence of semen.

In May of this year, 30-year-old Christopher Lee, a former dean’s assistant at St. Charles North christopher-leeHigh School was charged with criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse after engaging in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl at the school.  Lee has pleaded not guilty.  Now his attorney has filed a motion which seeks to allow Lee to assert a mistake-of-age defense.  He is currently free on $50,000 bail.

In Illinois, the legal age of consent is 17, he age the alleged victim was at the time.  Lee’s attorney maintains the case stems from “consensual sex,” however his client is currently unable to use the mistake-of-age defense due to the fact he allegedly committed the crimes he is charged with while in a “position of trust.”  When a case involves a teacher, school employee, or someone who is considered to be in a position of trust, authority, or supervision, the age of consent rises to 18.
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On November 15, a woman alleged that she was sexually assaulted at the home of Tommy Armstrong Jr., Trey Foster, and Jordan Westerkamp, three players for the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team. According to a recent article at the Journal Star, charges will not be filed by Lancaster County Attorney Joe Kelly, who said the proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime took place is “simply not there.” iStock_000000341623_Large-2-300x200

The alleged victim, whose name was not released, claims that she was sexually assaulted when she attended a party at the home following the Cornhuskers win at Rutgers on November 14. She said that she was sexually assaulted at some time between 2:15 and 9:30 a.m. by the suspect, who she knew. Police Chief Jim Peschong said that he believes the victim’s allegations, however he did not feel after the investigation that police had the elements of a crime necessary to move forward and have charges filed. Peschong interviewed all six individuals who were present at the home on the evening in question, including the alleged victim.

In an interview with the Omaha World-Herald, Armstrong said that from what he had heard the sexual activity was consensual; he said he was confused by the allegation.

Approximately a month ago, 28-year-old Majed Abdulaziz Al-Saud, a Saudi prince who lives at a Beverly Glen compound, was arrested for the alleged sexual assault of a woman who was reportedly seen fleeing from the grounds and bleeding. Al-Saud was arrested on September 23 on suspicion of forced oral copulation of an adult; he was freed on $300,000 bail. sad-silhouette-1080946-m

It was determined by a consul liaison with the Los Angeles Police Dept. that Al-Saud did not have diplomatic immunity, and therefore could be tried in the case. However, prosecutors announced recently that felony charges will not be filed in the alleged sexual assaults the Saudi prince has been accused of since the incident, as the evidence is insufficient and the stories of Al-Saud’s accusers cannot be substantiated.

An attorney for the alleged victims said a civil suit will move forward despite the fact no felony charges were filed. The women are claiming assault and battery, emotional distress, sexual discrimination, and retaliation against the workers at the compound.

On Sunday, August 30, a 7-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by a 22-year-old neighbor who police say scaled a balcony at an apartment complex and entered the victim’s apartment through a sliding door. The suspect, Newton Githiri, is being held on $2.5 million bond; he is charged with two counts each of sexual abuse of a child less than 12 and first-degree attempted sodomy, and is also facing second-degree burglary charges according to jail records. man in hand cuffs

Hoover, AL police received a 911 call at approximately 3:30 in the morning from the Park at Galleria Apartments. The victim’s father fought with Githiri and restrained him after he and the girl’s mother heard a noise which woke them up; the girl’s mother called police while her husband restrained the suspect, although police learned later the parents discovered the situation after the girl had already been sexually assaulted.

Captain Gregg Rector said that police first believed they were responding to a burglary in progress, but discovered the incident was something far worse. He also said the little girl told her parents what the suspect had done to her immediately.

Recently, a 32-year-old man who allegedly raped a 7-year-old girl on Staten Island was apprehended and arrested by police in New Jersey. The girl was reportedly raped sometime prior to 2:45 a.m. on August 6 at her home. Michigan Department of Corrections Struggles With Budget Challenges Pic

According to news reports, Daniel Nieto entered the home where the young girl lived through an unlocked door, then sexually assaulted the victim. Ironically, Nieto had been arrested for criminal trespass for hanging out in a vacant home just a short time following the sexual assault, although police were not aware the rape had occurred. After being charged with criminal trespass, Nieto was released. It would take police 12 days to find Nieto and arrest him in connection with the rape.

Ultimately, police caught Nieto in East Brunswick, NJ and took him into custody on Tuesday, August 18. At last news reports, charges against him were pending as the suspect is being extradited to Staten Island to face charges.

On Tuesday, August 4 Canterbury Police Chief John Laroche, 44, was arrested in connection with the sexual assault of a teenage girl sometime between January 1, 1999 and August 3, 2000. At the time of the alleged assault, the victim was reported to be 16 or 17 years old. iStock_2709890

Laroche, who was charged with one count of aggravated felonious sexual assault, allegedly assaulted the victim in the vicinity of the boat ramp in Boscawen, according to a news article at Concord Patch. Attorney General Joseph A. Foster said that at the time, Laroche was a police officer with the Boscawen Police Dept; he also oversaw the Boscawen Police Explorer Program, a program the alleged victim was a member of. Foster claims that Laroche used his authority to coerce the girl into submitting to the sexual assault.

The victim did not report the sexual assault until September of last year, at which time she reported it to the Boscawen Police. An investigation began after the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office was notified of the incident. Laroche is currently held on a $5,000 cash bail, and scheduled for arraignment on August 5 in Franklin District Court.

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