A North Palm Beach police officer has been charged with the sexual abuse of a minor. James Kaminski was known as North Palm Beach’s police dog officer. The allegations state that Kaminski sexually molested a teenager over the course of several years. The boy was 15 at the time of the alleged assault. Kaminski has been released on $50,000 bond.
According to Kaminski’s defense attorney, the complainant was involved in an ongoing sexual relationship with Kaminski but as an adult. Kaminski is admitting to the relationship but is saying that there was no sexual contact between him and the complainant while he was still underage.
The agency learned of the allegations in December of 2019. They placed Kaminski on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation. The investigation led to formal charges against Kaminski.
The allegations appear to have come from an incident where the victim was speaking to police in Upstate New York where he was attending college. The victim told police officers that he was molested by Kaminski in 2011 several times. Some of the incidents, he said, took place while Kaminski was in uniform. The complainant also told police that Kaminski fondled himself in front of the victim while he was 23, but there was a 10-year-old child also watching.
From the looks of it, this case will come down to the credibility of the accuser. This often happens in sex crime prosecutions. It becomes even more important when the defendant raises consent as his primary defense.
In this case, you have the accuser saying that the sexual relationship took place when he was still a minor. You have Kaminski, on the other hand, saying that the sexual relationship took place after he was a minor and involved no illegal sexual contact between minors and adults. The prosecution will rely entirely on the testimony of the victim to make their case. Defense attorneys will be required to attack the credibility of the complainant.
This, of course, makes it very difficult for the prosecution to get convictions in these types of cases since it boils down to a ‘he said, he said’. For prosecutors, you almost hope that there are multiple victims because this will lend credence to the case against the defendant. If, for example, they can get the 10-year-old who allegedly witnessed a sex act performed by Kaminski.
The defense will posit one of two theories. The first theory will be something along the lines of “the accuser is lying because they want to hurt the defendant”. In other words, the accuser has an ulterior motive for making the allegations, and the allegations are false.
The second defense will be something along the lines of “the accuser believes that the incident occurred, but is getting confused about who did what.” In other words, the defense says that the accuser is basically confused or has a perception disorder that makes their testimony unreliable.
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