Sex crimes carry severe penalties in Iowa. A conviction could result in a long prison sentence plus the stigma of being required to register as a sex offender. Anyone facing such charges needs an aggressive defense.
An Iowa City man is currently facing felony charges of third-degree sexual abuse. According to Iowa City police, the man allegedly had non-consensual sexual relations with a woman. The police claim the 28-year-old man climbed into the woman's bed and began to have sex with her.
She allegedly mistook the man for a consensual sexual partner at first. When she realized it was the defendant, she supposedly shouted at him and attempted to hit him. Police claim the defendant fled the woman's apartment. She later identified the defendant as the man who was in her bed.
It is important in any sexual assault case to take the victim's story seriously. But it is also important to make sure the defendant gets a fair trial, ensuring that an innocent individual is not wrongly convicted. In a case involving a victim who admits being confused initially about his or her alleged assailant's identity, the accuracy of her eyewitness identification may be an issue at trial.
In some cases involving allegations of sexual assault, the defendant may argue there was a reasonable basis to believe the victim consented. Where there are no witnesses other than the defendant and the alleged victim, there is much room for reasonable doubt. In other cases there may be a lack of physical evidence of the alleged rape.
As in any criminal case, it is essential for the defense to challenge every element of the prosecution's case. This could help the defendant reduce or dismiss the charges he or she faces, helping them to avoid harsh penalties.
Source: Iowa City Press-Citizen, "Iowa City man charged with sex abuse," Stephen Gruber-Miller, Sept. 21, 2015