Wrongful Arrests & Sex Crime Convictions
A 20-year-old East St. Louis man was recently released from jail on rape charges after DNA tests found no biological evidence tying him to the incident. In another turn of events, law enforcement officers and investigators were able to use the DNA evidence to arrest and prosecute a new suspect in connection to the crime. An 18-year-old East St. Louis man was recently charged this week with six counts of criminal sexual assault, one count of attempted aggravated criminal assault, and one count of armed robbery.
According to the St. Clair County state's attorney's office, the charges stem back to an incident that took place on January 29 near Bowman Avenue and North 14th Street. The victim, a woman in her 30s, was walking home from the Emerson Park MetroLink station when she was confronted by an armed assailant who robbed and sexually assaulted her.
Wrongful Arrests & Convictions in Sex Crime Cases
DNA evidence has enabled law enforcement agencies throughout the nation to secure amazing achievements in the pursuit of justice. In this particular case, an innocent man has been exonerated, and a suspect with stronger ties to the crime has been arrested. While many may be quick to commend local law enforcement agencies and investigators on their efforts, the question must be asked as to why the original suspect was ever arrested in the first place.
Wrongful arrests and convictions, unfortunately, occur frequently in St. Louis, in Missouri, and in every municipality throughout the United States. For whatever reasons why these wrongful accusations, arrests, and convictions occur, the fact remains that they exist and will continue to exist as long as humans remain infallible – or not free from making mistakes. No amount of technology and no amount of scientific knowledge – at least in the foreseeable future – will free mankind from the possibility of making errors. As a result, many innocent people are convicted of crimes they did not commit.
When it comes to crime, few offenses pose as devastating penalties and consequences as sex crimes. The original suspect who was arrested and jailed on the rape charge could have faced years in prison, not to mention the lifetime of limitations and restrictions that come with being a convicted sex offender. When a defendant's freedom and future is on the line, every reasonable measure must be taken to ensure that the facts are in order and that an effective defense is constructed. Law enforcement officers and prosecutors are concerned with gaining convictions and closing cases, and as unfortunate as it may be, they do not always devote the attention needed to ensure fairness under the law.
As the stakes in sex crime cases are so profound, and because those who stand accused of a sex offense face considerable legal obstacles, anyone facing these allegations should take the steps to protect themselves, their rights, and their futures by working with seasoned St. Louis criminal defense attorneys. At The Hammer Law Firm, LLC our legal team fully supports our clients throughout the entirety of their legal journey. From investigations to case preparation to trial, we fight on behalf of our clients to make certain that their rights are upheld and that their side of the story is presented clearly and convincingly. No American should fall victim to error, carelessness, and wrongful arrests in the criminal justice system, and we know that accused individuals can protect themselves against such devastating results by working with our firm. Learn more about sex crime defense and how our firm can help by contacting a member of our legal team.