Sexual Assault Charges End In A No Bill

Recently, my colleague Jeremy Rosenthal and I were hired to defend a man whose world had been turned completely upside down, to say the least. Our new client was arrested for two felony offenses: 1.) Sexual Assault of a Child; and 2.) Indecency with a Child by Sexual Contact. His bond was set at $40,000, an amount too high for his family to pay. Therefore, he simply sat in jail. If guilty of these offenses, he would very likely spend the rest of his life in prison and be registered for life as a sex offender.

Obviously, charges of a sexual nature – especially those involving children – carry with them an emotional jolt. My guess is that you likely felt something powerful when reading them. Candidly, they hit me emotionally when I first read them as part of the initial police report in this case. These were serious, life-altering charges.

Importantly though, criminal cases are not decided on emotion. Immediately after meeting with our client’s family we began to investigate. This investigation eventually uncovered that not only were these charges completely false, they were developed by a third-party with an interest in harming our client. And finally, after spending nearly 90 days in jail, our investigation, paired with a strong, thoughtful, and justice-focused prosecutor, resulted in our client being NO BILLED by a Grand Jury. This means that he will not be prosecuted for the offenses for which he had been arrested, and was immediately released from jail. He will obviously never get those 90 days in jail back, but he has gotten his life back.

I do not share this experience in any sort of look-at-me, boastful manner. Instead, I share it as a reminder that in some (obviously not all, but more than you imagine) criminal cases, things are not always as they appear at first glance. That the presumption of innocence is more than a throwaway-line in an episode of The Good Wife. Our client, who never in a million years imagined that he would ever need a criminal defense lawyer, now knows this better than most.