A criminal conviction for almost any type of crime has the potential to derail a career, but few are as damaging as a sex offense, particularly one that involves children. Even when minors are nearing adulthood, they are considered highly vulnerable. Any sexual activity between adults and teenagers is just as illegal as that with younger children, regardless of whether the activity is consensual.
Adults who are accused of a sex crime in Wisconsin may have a difficult time defending themselves both in court and the public eye, especially once the accusations hit the news media. Parents, teachers and neighborhood residents tend to read stories about sex offenses because they want to protect themselves and their children; other readers are drawn to the sensational details of these stories.
Unfortunately, few readers ever question the validity of the allegations, which tend to come from police reports. And since giving suspects the benefit of the doubt is not in law enforcement's best interest, rarely will a story about a sex offense suspect receive fair and balanced treatment in the media.
A Wisconsin-based acting coach accused of having sexual conversations and contact with teenage girls is dealing with such unwanted publicity. He was arrested and jailed in Waukesha County on suspicion of three felonies and a misdemeanor following allegations that he had sex with a 17-year-old girl he met through a West Allis drama program. He's also accused of engaging in chats with teenage girls on Facebook and Skype that were sexual in nature.
Recent news reports don't offer any comments in defense from the acting coach himself or his attorney. Fortunately, criminal cases don't rely on public opinion. But the man will still need to mount an aggressive defense if he hopes to avoid a conviction and the penalties associated with it. Even if he's found not guilty, he may have a tough time reviving his career and reputation in light of the public allegations against him.
This is just one reason it's crucial for anyone suspected of committing a sex offense to contact an attorney as soon as possible. By preparing early for a public battle, criminal defendants may be able to mitigate some of the damage that could come to their personal relationships and careers.
Source: Fox 6 Now, "Acting coach now faces child sex charges," Myra Sanchick, Jan. 11, 2013
- Our firm works with those who have been accused of sexual offenses and other crimes. To learn more about our practice, please visit our Wisconsin sex crimes defense page.