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2 Wisconsin teens plead not guilty to sexual assault of a child

This week's post relates in many ways to the topic of last week's entry: should consensual sex between teenagers result in jail time? As Wisconsin residents likely know, the matter isn't exactly cut and dry. Still, more often than not, criminal complaints are written to make conviction seem the only possible outcome of court proceedings. That is why a solid criminal defense will call into question the validity of a police report or a prosecutor's complaint, placing the burden of proof squarely on the prosecution and not on the defendant.

Recently, two 18-year-old seniors at a high school in Mequon were charged with sexual assault. They have been accused of having sex with a 14-year-old girl at the high school back in November. However, the criminal complaint says the sexual contact was not forced, yet the girl's father claims that force was used. Because the boys are 18 years old and legally adults, the allegation that they sexually assaulted a 14-year-old is extremely serious. The boys have been charged with second degree sexual assault of a child. If convicted, they could face up to 40 years in prison.

The defendants recently appeared in an Ozaukee County court to enter pleas of not guilty to the charges against them.

Readers in the Milwaukee area know that teenagers don't always make wise decisions. Sometimes the emotions that come with growing up result in behavior that many people would morally condemn. But should every moral condemnation equate a legal condemnation? There is a difference, and a meaningful criminal defense will highlight that difference in an effort to protect the rights of the accused.

Source: MSNBC, "Two Homestead H.S. seniors plead not guilty to sexually assaulting a teen," Feb. 13, 2012

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