A man who formerly worked at a high school was back in court on a recent Tuesday. A Wisconsin judge reinstated a sex crimes conviction against the long-time coach. The situation involved a past incident that is said to have taken place between the man and a 15-year-old female student.
At the center of the controversial case is a cellular phone. More specifically, the court had to decide whether that phone could be considered a computerized means of communication in solicitation of a child sex offense. After the initial conviction in 2013, the former coach was sentenced to 10 years behind bars.
The 59-year-old man’s defense argued that the cellphone did not use the internet to communicate; therefore, it would not meet the state’s definition of a computerized form of communication. An appeals court granted the defendant a new trial. However, a state supreme court justice recently wrote a reinstatement of the man’s conviction, holding that a 4-2 decision had sided with the prosecution in the matter.
The court ruled that even though the phone the man had used was not as advanced in technology as some other cellphones, it could still be considered computerized because of its communication capabilities. The court further determined that a gadget need not use the internet to satisfy the state’s definition of a computerized communications system. Thus, the man remains convicted of exchanging more than 8,000 texts with a girl who was 14 at the time and having several instances of sexual contact with her. Facing sex crimes charges in Wisconsin is a serious matter, and positive outcomes often hinge on aggressive and effective criminal defense assistance.
Source: startribune.com, “Wisconsin justices rule against former coach in sex case”, Scott Bauer, June 28, 2016