A California jury has acquitted a 30-year-old hospital worker who was accused of sexually assaulting a woman while she was in her hospital bed. The incident was said to have occurred in 2011. Had this individual been convicted he could have been sentenced to 24 years in prison.
Prosecuting attorneys claimed the hospital worker had been assigned to watch the woman at the time the assault took place. There were apparently other allegations that he drugged the woman as well. The worker’s attorney, on the other hand, stated that any sexual relation that took place was consensual.
Anyone accused of a crime is considered by the courts to be innocent until proven guilty. We especially need to abide by such a policy as the consequences of a wrongful conviction for sex offenses or many other crimes are severe. Besides the possibility of a long prison sentence, sex offender registration can have lifelong consequences.
It’s impossible to understand the merits of such a case as the one mentioned above by only reading a short account in the newspaper. Juries are allowed to hear the accusations for which individuals arrested are accused. They also are allowed to hear evidence that would raise questions concerning the allegations made.
We cannot be allowed to convict individuals upon mere allegations alone. Unfortunately false allegations are sometimes made that lead to arrests. A conviction needs to be backed by reliable evidence and testimony. Criminal defense attorneys can make certain that a defendant’s case is heard and that no wrongful conviction takes place.
Source: The Republic, “Ex-Orange County hospital employee acquitted of drugging and sexually assaulting patient,” March 17, 2014