Being accused of a sex crime can have serious, lasting consequences. As we saw in a previous post, a charge of sexual assault can result in a lengthy prison sentence. There are other penalties that one can face such as being required to register as a sex offender.
But beyond the more apparent consequences, being accused of a sex crime such as sexual assault can have a severe impact on a person's personal and professional life as well. These types of allegations can effect a person's reputation, even if a formal conviction never materializes. For one Wisconsin state trooper, these consequences may soon become a reality.
Just recently, a patrolman was charged with three counts of sexual assault from incidents back in 2008. According to the article, the charges were brought against him after a federal investigation into allegations that the patrolman sexually assaulted a minor.
According to the criminal complaint, the minor had been placed in the state trooper's care several years ago. Investigators believe that the trooper sexually assaulted the young woman for the duration of her stay at his home. The young woman was only recently taken out of the home.
The state trooper is already experiencing the consequences of these allegations. While an administrative investigation is pending, he has been suspended from his job without pay until further notice.
As for legal consequences, each count of sexual assault of a minor could result in 40 years in jail and a hefty fine. Facing three counts, the trooper is facing severe penalties if convicted of all three counts.
Source: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel online, "Trooper charged with sex assault," Don Behm, 06 February 2011