No matter how bad a crime sounds, a defendant is entitled to a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. While peers and coworkers may rush to judgment when a suspect is charges with serious sex crimes, a defendant may well be found not guilty of some or all of the charges, or at least have them significantly reduced by the end of a trial.
One defendant in a recent DeKalb County case appears to be suffering the consequences of simply being accused of a crime, even though he is presumed innocent. The detention officer in DeKalb County is being accused of sexual assault and other related crimes by a prison inmate. The inmate alleges that another inmate performed sexual acts with the officer, who would then sneak him food and other items.
The defendant had worked at the prison for almost two years, but that tenure was not enough to stop the prison from terminating his employment at the mere accusation of the crimes. He is currently being held in jail on $1,000 bond.
Being accused of any type of sex crime, no matter the nature, can have far-reaching effects on a defendant's personal and professional life. Defendants may find themselves fired from a job and potentially have a permanent mark on their criminal record, no matter what the outcome at trial. Therefore, the moment the allegations are made, a defendant should seek out legal assistance in order to confront the charges head-on and handle the defense accordingly. Depending on the allegations, that could include negotiating with prosecutors and managing media coverage, in addition to a proper legal defense if the case goes to trial.
Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "DeKalb jailer fired, arrested on sexual assault charges," March 21, 2013