Recently, Chicago prosecutors have announced that they are pursuing a case against a Chicago police officer. This officer is facing a criminal sex abuse charge following an incident at a South Side party. Prosecutors claim that the officer pinned down a female officer at the party and inappropriately touched her after he forced his way into the bathroom with her. The officer was off duty at the time of the incident. Police say that the two officers did not know each other.
In addition to the sex crime charge, the officer has also been charged with unlawful restraint. He faces serious criminal penalties including prison time.
Any criminal allegations are serious and can result in significant punishment. However, sex crimes, in particular, can have immediate social and financial consequences for the accused. In this case, the officer has been placed on desk duty as a result of the allegations. Furthermore, his police powers have been stripped until the criminal proceedings have been completed. He may also suffer damage to his reputation as a result of the charges, the changes at work and the media coverage.
While every criminal defendant is supposed to be treated as innocent until proven guilty, these social consequences can make life difficult for defendants from the beginning of an investigation — well before they are ever found guilty in a criminal court.
To protect themselves from these harsh consequences, those accused of sex crimes need to take an aggressive stance in protecting their name from the beginning of a case. They need to make sure they receive fair criminal proceedings and do not suffer unnecessarily before they are even found guilty. With the right help, people can ensure that their constitutional rights are protected and that all false accusations are disputed.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Chicago cop charged with sex abuse,” Jason Meisner and Jeremy Gorner, April 18, 2013