A conviction for criminal sexual assault can have many consequences, including potentially long jail sentences and a lifetime of having to register as a sex offender. That’s why it’s important that anyone facing a criminal sexual assault charge understands all the charges and legal options available to make sure their full legal rights are protected.
A Galesburg, Illinois, man was recently found guilty of one count of aggravated battery and two counts of attempted aggravated criminal sexual assault after he was accused of hitting a woman with a brick and trying to have sex with her. Things could have been worse, however, because the man was also charged with attempted first-degree murder. The defense requested a not guilty verdict on that charge, citing a lack of evidence.
The verdicts came after a two-day bench trial, which is a trial without a jury, in which the judge evaluates evidence and testimony and renders a verdict. Though little or no physical evidence was presented at the trial, it did feature testimony by witnesses and a number of doctors and law enforcement officials. In addition, the alleged victim testified twice, and though the assault had left her in a weeks-long coma, she claimed to be able to recall much of what had allegedly happened.
The defense attorney asked for a directed verdict on all charges, because the lack of physical evidence left a reasonable doubt as to the defendant’s guilt on anything. The judge denied the request, however, stating that the prosecution had proven the aggravated battery and attempted criminal sexual assault charges.
As it stands, with the conviction the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 30 years for each sexual assault conviction and 10 years for aggravated battery. However, it could have been worse. If he hadn’t mounted a strong defense, he might also have been convicted of the charge of attempted first-degree murder, and it appears that there could be sufficient grounds for an appeal.
Source: The Register-Mail, “Galesburg man guilty of sexual assault, battery,” Ariel Cheung, Dec. 28, 2012