Man cleared of sex offenses after victim fails to testify

Man cleared of sex offenses after victim fails to testify

A 19-year-old Maryland man who was accused of accosting a sleeping woman at a summer concert has been cleared of the most serious charges connected to that incident. The man was tried on two counts: public intoxication and assault and battery. He was accused of sexually assaulting the alleged victim. However, courtroom proceedings cleared the defendant of the sex crimes, though he was found guilty on the public intoxication charge. The defendant had initially been charged with aggravated sexual battery, though that sexual assault charge was dropped before the trial began.

The alleged victim in the case did not testify in the criminal trial. That woman, age 49, had accused the defendant of groping her while she was sleeping at a concert put on by the Zac Brown Band at the Jiffy Lube Live music venue. Instead of the victim testifying in the sex crimes case, three witnesses came forward to support the defendant. All of those witnesses said they saw the man simply lie down next to the woman; they did not observe any untoward behavior.

The man’s attorney was satisfied that his client was exonerated, saying that not only did the man never sexually assault anyone — he never laid his hands on the woman at all. The attorney also explained the unusual nature of the case, saying that it is strange for the alleged victim to decline to testify at such a criminal proceeding.

This case is an excellent example of a fair legal proceeding that ended well for the defendant. An arrest and arraignment for sex crimes does not mean that the defendant will be found guilty. It is possible to build an effective defense against such allegations.

Source: The Washington Post, “Accused teen is found not guilty of assault at Jiffy Lube Live” Julie Zauzmer, Aug. 14, 2014

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