On Tuesday, December 9, 20-year-old Francisco Paiva Sousa, a student at San Diego State University, was taken into custody after allegedly sexually assaulting another student at a house off campus, according to a news article at U-T San Diego. Although there have been 13 assaults involving students at the university this semester, this is the first arrest.
According to the victim, Sousa forced oral sex in a bathroom at a home located at 5074 College Ave. late Saturday evening or early Sunday morning. Originally, police believed the alleged assault had taken place at a fraternity house, however they later discovered it had taken place at an off campus house.
This sexual assault was the first one reported by an SDSU student in the month of December, however there have been 13 with this latest incident since August. Police say that most of the students who have reported being sexually assaulted chose not to press charges, and that most of the victims knew the person who assaulted them; alcohol was also a common factor in the incidents.
Sousa was booked into jail after being arrested on Tuesday afternoon on charges of false imprisonment with force, and suspicion of oral copulation with force. His bail was set at $100,000.
In the state of Michigan, forcing someone to perform oral sex is considered sexual penetration, which leaves the offender facing charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. This is the most serious sex crime of all in Michigan, and leaves the defendant facing a maximum term of life in prison if convicted. The mandatory minimum prison term depends on other factors including the age of the victim, relation, etc. For example, if someone who is 17 years of age or older is proven to have engaged in sexual penetration with someone younger than 13, the mandatory minimum prison term is 25 years.
In addition to losing their freedom, those who are found guilty of most sex offenses will be required to register as a sex offender. This is the most serious penalty of all for those who do not face long prison terms, as it will affect employment, where the sex offender may live, his/her right to own firearms, and most of all, reputation. Sex offenders are shunned by society, so having this label effectively alienates the offender from neighbors and others in the community.
If you have been accused of sexual assault, an Internet sex crime, or any related offense, consult with a capable and aggressive Michigan sex crime lawyer immediately. An arrest does not always result in a guilty verdict; your attorney can advise you of your legal options, and provide the guidance necessary to reach a good outcome.