Criminal accusations can ruin a person's life. Even if the allegations are later proven untrue or charges are dropped, the person's reputation may be damaged forever. But how do courts wade through accusations to get the facts?
It can be a complicated process. For someone charged with a crime such as sexual assault, defending one's rights can seem overwhelming but necessary in order to protect one's future. One Wisconsin man is finding out just how challenging it can be to defend against these types of charges.
The man was a high school teacher. He was suspended from his position at the high school after he was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with one of his students. This could impact his future both professionally as a teacher as well as personally.
The alleged sexual misconduct began nearly a year ago. He is accused of having a sexual relationship with a minor, with contact occurring frequently up until his arrest a few months ago. Though he has been officially charged, he has pled not guilty.
It is unclear who made the accusations, but when they were made law enforcement likely launched an investigation to figure out whether the man should be arrested and charged with a crime.
If he is convicted of the sexual assault charge, he could be spending the next 80 years in prison. Even if he is sentenced to a lesser penalty, he will have great difficulty finding a job within his teaching profession.
If accused of a crime, speaking with an attorney who understands the criminal justice system can help minimize the impact that charges can have on one's life.
Source: Wisconsin Rapids Tribune: "Stevens Points teacher pleads not guilty to Wood County sexual assault charges," Oct. 28, 2011