It should come as no surprise that the majority of sex crimes involve some level of secrecy. When someone commits a sex offense against a minor, he or she may try to prevent the child from telling friends, family members or a teacher about the incident -- perhaps by threatening the child with violence or enticing the child to keep the incident quiet with money or other favors. Other times an abuser may tell the child that no one will believe his or her accusations, so there's no point in telling anyone about the sexual activity.
It's highly unusual that a victim will attempt to coerce the accused offender, but there have been rare cases of this. One such instance occurred recently between two high school students and their bus driver. According to a police report, two teenage boys tried to extort the driver after both allegedly had sexual relations with her. But their plan appears to have backfired, landing all three in trouble.
According to police officials in Gaston County, North Carolina, two teenage boys were picked up by their bus driver one night in October -- not in the school bus, but in her own car. Both boys engaged in sexual activity with the driver, a 33-year-old woman. Last month both boys, who are now 18, sent the driver a Facebook message demanding that she pay them $60 or they would go to the police and tell them that the teacher had raped both of the boys.
The bus driver, denying that anything sexual had occurred, notified a school resource officer about the messages. She was subsequently suspended from her job, arrested and booked into jail, and an investigation into the matter is continuing. But the boys were also arrested and are facing charges of bribery. They could also face disciplinary action from the school.
Rather than go directly to the school's resource officer, the driver could have also sought the counsel of a criminal defense attorney with a good handle on the risks she faced by taking the allegations public. Likewise, Maryland residents who have been accused of a sex crime may be unsure of the right defense approach. It pays to seek advice from a legal professional who understands the problems you face and the best ways to mitigate any resulting damage.
Source: Gaston Gazette, "Police: Teens use Facebook to blackmail bus driver over sex acts," Kevin Ellis, Jan. 17, 2013
- Our firm stands ready to assist Maryland residents facing criminal charges. To learn more about our practice, visit our Maryland sexual offenses defense page.