Anyone in Maryland who has been accused of a crime knows how scary that experience can be -- especially if you are wrongly accused. Not only do you have to worry about spending time behind bars, but there is also a major concern over the damage these charges will do to your reputation.
One 26-year-old man, who faced sex crime charges for raping a woman, is painfully aware of this unfortunate reality. The man was charged, along with four others, in a highly-publicized criminal case. After spending 10 months behind bars without being offered bail, the charges were finally dropped against the man when the accuser's credibility came under fire.
During the course of the police investigation, the woman involved in the case partially recanted her testimony. The charges were not dropped, however, until the judge assigned to the case received a report indicating that the accuser's credibility was in doubt. Amid this controversy, the assistant district attorney quit her job because she was urged to pursue the sex crime charges, even though the accuser recanted.
Even being charged with a sex crime can damage a person's reputation permanently. As this young man's case shows, you don't even have to be convicted or guilty of a crime to face serious consequences. As a result of this unjust treatment, the man is now suing the prosecutor's office for defaming his character and unfairly keeping him behind bars.
Above all, it's important for those accused of serious crimes to make sure all the evidence gathered by law enforcement is verifiable. Such an inquiry can determine whether or not the accuser's story aligns with physical evidence or if there is reason to question the accuracy of testimony.
Though he spent months behind bars, the man at the center of this criminal case will hopefully be granted justice.
Source: New York Times, "Ex-Defendant Sues Prosecutor After Rape Charge Is Dropped," Alan Feuer Oct. 9, 2012
- Our firm has experience handling complex criminal cases, such as those involving rape accusations. To find out more about the criminal defense process, please see our Maryland sexual assault page.