It is easy to make a common mistake: People read a news story about someone being arrested and immediately assume that the suspect is guilty.
We read recently in the Chicago Sun-Times of a man who has been arrested on a charge of attempted sexual assault. The 24-year-old allegedly accosted a 23-year-old female acquaintance at her Lake County home.
The man, who lives in Texas, is being held there while awaiting extradition to Illinois. He will then face charges of attempted sexual assault and sexual abuse, the news article stated.
While we do not know if he is guilty or innocent, it is clear from the short news article that it is possible that he has been wrongly charged.
The woman alleges that the man lifted up her shirt, pulled down her pants and put his mouth on her body, but she does not allege that he raped her.
One of the several viable defenses to sexual assault charges is that there was consent to the sexual activities. If the defendant in a similar case can convince the court that the other person consented at the time to the sexual contact, it can mean acquittal.
Another viable defense to the serious charge of sexual assault, or attempted sexual assault, is innocence. In other words, the defendant shows the court that they did not commit the crime. This typically involves providing a verifiable alibi to show that the defendant was somewhere else at the time of the assault and therefore could not be guilty.
A skilled, experienced criminal defense attorney has a range of viable defenses available in sexual assault cases, depending on the circumstances of the incident, of course.