Students at Whitefish Bay High School in Wisconsin wore t-shirts in support of a fellow student who was accused of sexual assault and were told they had to cover or remove the shirts. Other students wore headbands in support of the sophomore accused of sex crimes in which he allegedly forced a 16-year-old girl to have oral sexual contact with him.The allegations stemmed from an incident in one of the school's stairwells in which the boy told police the girl initiated sexual contact. Many students felt the incident should have been contained between the parents, students, police and school administration and not made public.
A student at Whitefish Bay High School is accused of sexually assaulting another student in the stairwell on April 18 and forcing her to perform oral sex upon him. After fellow students learned of the allegations, many of them took up a campaign in the student's defense, believing the student to be innocent of the alleged sex crimes.The accused student allegedly told police that it was the 16-year-old girl who initiated the sexual contact. He has been charged in juvenile court with second degree sexual assault. The identities of the students have not been released.
The federal government has designated April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The focus of SAAM is to increase information about sex crimes and sexual violence along with preventative measures for both adults and children. When children are given appropriate information on healthy sexuality, the adults in their lives can help protect them against child sexual abuse. SAAM helps raise awareness and the promotion of teaching proper boundaries. It also teaches children that the word "no" is appropriate to say. The group encourages the modeling of positive attitudes and behaviors toward sexuality and highlights possible risk factors for sexual abuse.
Sexual offenses are categorized according to their level of seriousness by degrees, similar to other crimes. Not surprisingly, first-degree sex crimes such as rape or the sexual assault of a young child carry the highest penalties, while misdemeanors such as public exposure come with much lighter sentences. But that doesn't mean prosecutors in Wisconsin don't take these "lesser" crimes seriously. Just like the most heinous sex crimes, the media exposure and penalties that come with more minor offenses can derail a defendant's plans for the future.
We discuss a wide variety of cases on our criminal defense blog, but it may surprise readers to learn that defendants in criminal cases may also be sued for civil liability, usually by a victim or the victim's family. Whether or not the defendant is found guilty in criminal court doesn't necessarily dictate the outcome of a civil lawsuit, but both cases require a highly effective defense attorney.
Sexual assault cases are rarely open-and-shut procedures. Like any other criminal case, prosecutors have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant did all the things his or her accuser alleges. This burden of proof typically involves providing both testimony and physical evidence, but in some cases these can be difficult to get. If the alleged victim is unwilling to cooperate, the prosecution must find other ways to convince a jury of the defendant's guilt.
Earlier this year we told you about a Milwaukee man who was facing sexual assault charges based on the allegations of a woman who was applying to work for him. After multiple delays in the case, it appears to have been resolved with a plea agreement. But the outcome is somewhat unusual for a sex crime.
Many of the sexual offenses we discuss in this blog focus on teachers and students who have become caught up in relationships that are illegal and inappropriate due to their age differences and positions of authority. But it's possible for parents to become involved in these affairs as well.
A man convicted two decades ago of sexually assaulting young girls is facing new charges that could put him back behind bars for life. The 46-year-old from Waukesha, Wisconsin, could have a very tough legal battle because of his sex offender status.
If you had the opportunity to attend summer camp as a child, you may have fond memories of days filled with swimming, canoeing and relay races and nights around a campfire hearing ghost stories. But if the allegations against a counselor at a Milwaukee-area YMCA camp are true, such memories may be hard for one 12-year-old camper to separate from a disturbing incident.