Recently it was reported that Grant Perry, a wide receiver for the University of Michigan football team from Royal Oak was arrested after allegedly touching a woman in an inappropriate manner as Perry and the woman were in line waiting to enter an East Lansing bar. The incident reportedly occurred on October 15. Perry, who is 19 years old, was charged with a single count of underage drinking, two counts of criminal sexual conduct, and one count of assaulting, battering, resisting or obstructing an officer.
December 29th news reports reveal Perry denied that he sexually assault the woman. The incident took place at a bar and restaurant locating in East Lansing, Lou & Harry’s, where witnesses said Perry and two other men tried to cut in line while approximately 20 or 25 others waited outside of the establishment. One officer reported that after requesting Perry’s identification, he fumbled through his wallet and attempted to run away before he was apprehended and arrested by another officer.
The alleged victim told police that when Perry refused to go to the back of the line, the two argued and that Perry groped her crotch and buttocks area after pressing his chest against hers for a few seconds.
Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common not only in Michigan, but around the nation. It’s easy for someone to claim he or she was sexually assaulted, and in many cases those accused of inappropriate sexual conduct are assumed guilty even though the law states those arrested or charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Sexual assault absolutely occurs in our society every day, however many innocent people are accused of crimes they did not commit. According to a 2015 Washington Post article, the number of wrongful conviction in our country is staggering. In fact, there are tens or thousands of individuals behind bars today who were found guilty of crimes they did not commit, although not all are sex crimes.
Regardless of whether Perry is guilty or innocent of the allegations against him, the truth is it’s often a simple matter for someone to claim sexual assault – especially when there is no physical or hard evidence. The tragedy occurs when a person who is wrongly accused not only loses his or her freedom, but suffers damage in terms of reputation, career, relationships, and family life. Ultimately, those who are wrongly accused of a sex crime (or any criminal offense for that matter) must fight aggressively to protect their freedom and literally every aspect of their existence. It’s truly a shame in cases where someone who was at the wrong place at the right time can have his or her life transformed or destroyed in an instant.
We don’t know at this moment whether Perry committed the crimes he stands accused of. Unfortunately, many likely assume he is guilty despite the fact every person has legal rights and are presumed innocent until proven guilty by a judge or jury of their peers. No matter what happens in this particular case, the fact remains too many are sitting behind bars today, their freedom and lives forever taken away by what is not always a fair and just criminal justice system.