According to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, a Chelsea man is scheduled to go to trial this coming week on charges of sexual assault. The article states that the defendant, who was twenty-six years old at the time, became friends with the alleged victim, who was twelve years old at the time, on MySpace in 2009. The defendant reportedly traded phone messages with the alleged victim for several weeks and ultimately met her in Northborough in July of 2009. They then reportedly drove to a conservation area and engaged in “sexual activity.” According to the article, the alleged victim told police that she thought that the defendant was sixteen years old and that she told him that she was fourteen. At some point during their interactions, the defendant reportedly offered to provide the alleged victim with liquor and asked her to keep his age a secret from her friends because he could “get in big trouble.”
Police were notified of the defendant’s contact with the alleged victim by her parents. The police then set up a sting, posing as the alleged victim in a series of text messages. During these interactions, the defendant reportedly sent a picture of himself to the police. He also reportedly reserved a room at a motel, allegedly for the purpose of meeting with the alleged victim again. Before the meeting took place, however, the police arrested him. The defendant was charged with statutory rape of a child, aggravated rape of a child (due to the more than ten year age difference), child enticement, and indecent assault and battery on a child under fourteen.
Although the alleged victim claims that she and the defendant engaged in sexual activity, there is no physical evidence of such contact. To the contrary, a rape kit was conducted on the alleged victim and no semen was found. There also does not appear to be any physical evidence of penetration or physical injuries, which one would potentially expect had there been any sort of sexual contact. There also appears to be some question as to the alleged victim’s motives for reporting the interaction with the defendant; the alleged victim appears to have told her parents about her contact with the defendant after she was caught returning home later than she was supposed to be and offered the relationship by way of explanation.
The charges that the defendant is facing are undeniably serious – not only because of the potential criminal penalties, but also because of the significant collateral consequences of a conviction for a sex offense, including sex offender registry requirements and potential civil commitment as a sexually dangerous person. Despite the seriousness of the case, however, the defendant may well be in a position to successfully argue that the alleged victim’s claims are not true and that she is exaggerating the nature and extent of their relationship. In particular, the complete and total lack of physical evidence to support the alleged victim’s claim of any sort of sexual contact is extremely helpful. This lack of any objective evidence to corroborate the alleged victim’s claim of sexual contact, in conjunction with the fact that she may well have had a motive to exaggerate the relationship with the defendant to get out from under her parents’ discipline, will likely be essential to the defense.
Regardless of the arguments that the defendant may raise, however, he is still in dire need of an experienced defense attorney who not only knows what arguments to make to the jury, but who is also able to skillfully and successfully present them. If you or a loved is facing similarly serious charges, you will likewise need a practiced and skilled attorney to represent you. Attorney Daniel Cappetta has handled numerous sexual assault cases and understands the investigation, strategy, and presentation required to obtain successful results. Call him for a free consultation today.