There are certain types of crimes that have a serious effect from the moment the charges are brought. While everyone is supposed to be treated as innocent until proven guilty, with these crimes people are often judged from moment allegations surface. Sexual assault charges against a child fall into this category. When someone is accused of child sexual assault they face immediate consequences and are sometimes unfairly labeled by the media as a sexual predator. Furthermore, sexual assault charges carry other serious long term consequences including prison time.
In a recent Illinois case, a 54-year-old Boy Scout troop leader has been charged with felony second-degree sexual assault of a child. According to police, the man was at a Boy Scout camp when he performed oral sex on a 13-year-old boy who the man was taking care of since the boy did not feel well. Soon after, the man was arrested and charged.
He was eventually released from jail on a $5,000 bond and is awaiting a hearing in September. However, in the mean time, the man can have no contact with the boy and can have no unsupervised contact with any child under the age of 16.
The man denies that any wrongdoing took place and says that he did not sexually assault the boy. According to the man, he did remove the boy’s clothes but only because he had a fever. If he is found guilty, this man could be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison. He could also face other serious penalties including having to register on the Illinois sex offender registry. These allegations could also affect his employment and social life.
In order to combat these potential consequences, this man will need to defend against the charges. In court, he will be given the opportunity to present evidence to clear his name and prove that no sexual assault took place.
Source: Portage Daily Register, “Illinois man accused of sexually assaulting boy at Scout camp,” Shannon Green, July 19, 2013