Allegations of sexual assault or abuse are usually handled quite seriously, and for good reason. While protecting victims is an important aspect of pursuing these types of criminal charges, the defendant must also be protected from unfair judgment and wrongful accusations by the public and media. For instance, a Georgia official who was recently arrested for alleged sexual misconduct is still entitled to his rights, including the presumption of innocence according to the law.
The former police Captain retired in May 2015 when the first allegations of sexual harassment surfaced. An internal investigation into the accusations apparently prompted his decision to retire. When the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case, other women apparently made similar claims of sexual harassment against the former Captain. Some of the women who made these accusations were his direct subordinates.
An arrest warrant was apparently issued by the GBI, and the 27-year veteran voluntarily turned himself over to agents. According to reports, the charges against him cite claims that he coerced some women into engaging in unwanted sexual activity, while he threatened others. In total he faces several different charges, including sexual battery, aggravated sexual battery, public indecency and a few others.
It can be disconcerting to learn that a public official has been arrested, but an arrest does not actually indicate guilt. Instead, an arrest is usually carried out after sufficient evidence has been pulled together in order to file criminal charges. The evidence or proof necessary to file these charges is vastly smaller than what is required to garner a conviction. However, it is up to the prosecution to bear this burden of proof, as Georgia defendants are always granted the presumption of innocence throughout the entirety of criminal investigations and trial court proceedings.
Source: cbs46.com, “Officer arrested on charges of sexual misconduct”, Melinda Roeder, Sept. 10, 2015