As regular readers of this blog know, sex offense convictions usually come with stiff penalties. The same could be said of attempts to frame another person for a sex offense, as one Wisconsin resident may learn when he's sentenced in February for the crime.
Prosecutors say that a 50-year-old barbershop owner from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, tried to frame his landlord in 2010 by mailing a TV news reporter a DVD with the landlord's name on it. The DVD, which contained underage pornography images and videos, was passed on to the Department of Criminal Investigations, where an agent specializing in underage pornography began an investigation of the businessman whose name was on the DVD. But the frame attempt didn't last long; investigators learned that the businessman was owed a large amount of back rent by the barber, who soon became the center of the department's investigation.
According to court documents, the barber had produced the underage pornography himself and sent it to the reporter. Police said that a search of the man's home, computers and other electronic storage devices turned up more incriminating evidence. They also learned that the barber had sexually assaulted two boys, one of whom he'd transported across state lines. The boys confirmed those allegations in interviews and later testified in court against the man.
In addition to the sex crime convictions, the man also has a history of fraud and similar crimes on his record. The mandatory sentences for his crimes range from five to 15 years.
While it's true that accusations of a sex crime can be very damaging -- a fact the barber must have known as he tried to frame his landlord -- lodging false allegations usually comes back to bite the accuser in some way. A better tactic for those who have committed a sex crime is to work with an attorney who may be able to mitigate that damage based on the actual facts of the case, rather than what others have merely alleged.
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Former Whitefish Bay barbershop owner convicted of child porn," Bruce Vielmetti, Nov. 30, 2012