When a person has been charged with or convicted of sexual assault, the accused may be presented with enduring consequences. If the person has been convicted of sexual assault, the person’s private information is placed on public registers. This information is on full display to potential employers, which makes it extremely difficult to find a job. Not only may the person struggle in finding a job, the person will likely face prejudice from the community they choose to reside in.
In Milwaukee, four men have been charged with second-degree sexual assault for allegedly forcing a 17-year-old girl to perform sex acts. According to police reports, one of the men was a Facebook friend of the alleged victim; the man took the girl to different places and forced her to perform sexual acts on different men. Police say that some of the men videotaped the sexual acts on their cellular phone cameras, and a man put it on Facebook. According to police reports, the alleged victim has the understanding of a child that is between the ages of seven and nine.
Some of the men have also been charged with sexual exploitation of a child, child enticement and child pornography. All states have laws against sexual assault, but the definitions of the degrees of assault are varied from state to state. For example, some states – including Wisconsin – distinguish the degrees of assault by penetration and coercion. Involuntary acts of penetration are considered first-degree sexual assault in some states. Coercion may be taken into consideration in defining other degrees of sexual assault.
Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty under the law. All deserve a fair trial, even if they are already experiencing increased scrutiny in the public forum. This is especially those who have been charged with a sex crime, as they face lifelong challenges regardless of whether they are found to be innocent or guilty.
Source: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, “4 charged with sexual assault after Facebook video,” Bruce Vielmetti, July 20, 2012