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Gross Sexual Assaults with 5 and 7 Year Old Victims Dismissed

Amy and I recently achieved a deal on the eve of trial for a client of ours who was charged with two counts of Gross Sexual Assault (Class A), which is more commonly known as rape. What made this case even more difficult is that the alleged victims were two boys (our client was also male) aged 5 and 7. The allegation included an allegation of anal penetration and oral sex. We prepared for trial and the victims were likewise prepared to testify. The police told us that our client made admissions that he committed the offense to them as well. Our client was 16 years old at the time.
Thankfully, the prosecutor on the case was a reasonable professional, who worked with us. We explained what we felt the holes were in the case. Our client was in custody and she made us an offer to an Aggravated Assault, and for his release today with probation. This was opposed by the alleged victim's parents, but the prosecutor stuck to her guns, as did the judge, and the deal went through.
These cases are always difficult. The judge commented to the lawyers on Friday that this was a 10 on the ugly meter. I agreed. Part of what also made this case ugly, however, are the consequences to our client. In addition to the punishment of being punished with continued jail time (detention time in the juvenile world), there are all sorts of other issues that would have plagued him forever.
One of those looming issues is the Adam Walsh Act, which has been passed elsewhere and is likely to be passed in Maine. This Act would likely apply retroactively if passed. If so, one of the many penalties of the act is lifetime sex offender registration. In this case, our client could have been punished for the rest of his life for something he did as a 16 year old. The Federal Defender has additional information on the Act if you want to hear more. I would encourage any of you who are concerned about the rights of criminal defendants to tell your legislators that you oppose this Act, and to carefully monitor not only what is coming out of Washington, but also what is coming out of Augusta.
~Tim


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