Police are reaching out to the community to determine if there are more victims. As of now, two victims have stepped forward to accuse a 78-year-old man of sexual assault. One of the victims was under 12 while the other victim was over 12. The defendant faces two counts of sexual battery of a child of less than 12 and 3 counts of sexual battery against a child aged 12 to 16.
The defendant is being held without bond. Police are asking the community to help find more victims and put the perpetrator away for the remainder of his life.
Understanding sexual abuse prosecutions
Prosecutions such as these rely heavily on the testimony of the victims. Forensic evidence can be difficult to come by unless the victim reports the event immediately after it occurred. Even in those cases, the perpetrator can claim that there was a misunderstanding or that the event was accidental. When it comes down to one person’s word against another, the outcome always favors the defendant. The burden of proof in criminal cases is high.
When there are multiple victims, however, it becomes much more difficult to discount the individual testimony as mistaken or vindictive. In this case, there are multiple victims, all children. In most cases such as these, there are multiple victims. Hence, why police are asking the community to step forward and placing the man’s picture on social media.
At this point, it is unclear if the man has a history of sexual violence against children or not. The history may exist, but be unknown to police if the victims did not step forward.
Difficulties prosecuting rape
Rape is very difficult to prosecute. In most cases, when sexual contact does occur, the defendant claims that they were under the impression the sex was consensual at the time and the victim did not indicate otherwise. When it comes to children, however, consent is not a defense. It is assumed that a child under the age of your state’s age of consent is unable to consent to sex. So, the perpetrator would not be able to claim that the child consented to the sex even if no force was used.
That being said, child molesters often leverage victims into silence by claiming that the child will get into trouble if they tell their parents or the police. The molester makes the child feel as if the child has done something wrong by seducing them. The child then becomes afraid to report the violence to the police or their parents. In the best of scenarios, the child quickly reports the matter to the parents who contact the police and then begin questioning the suspect.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
The Skier Law Firm, P.A. represents the interests of those charged with serious crimes in West Palm Beach. Call our West Palm Beach criminal lawyers today to discuss your situation and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.