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Former Texas judge indicted for sexual assault

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Sex crimes are prosecuted by the judicial system very seriously. According to the US Department of Justice, a large number of such cases fit a specific pattern. In as many as 47 percent of these cases, the victim is acquainted with the perpetrator, who either is a family member or part of the extended family. An incident along similar lines occurred recently in Lubbock, Texas.

A former state district judge recently had to resign his current position as a city attorney amidst allegations of sexual assault. The purported victim, the estranged wife of a relative, accused the former judge of sexually assaulting her during a divorce hearing. On Thursday, the county's special grand jury returned an indictment on 10 counts of sexual assault.

In January of this year, the judge called a press conference during which he made a public announcement regarding the allegations of sexual assault. Following the announcement, he put himself on paid leave, subsequently resigning in March.

He is currently free on a $30,000 bond. In addressing the sex crime charges filed against his client, the judge's attorney stated that the allegations brought against his client were false and without any qualifying merit.

In cases like this, the defense may choose to plead innocent by way of mutual consent. The burden of proof in a criminal trial lies squarely on the prosecution and there may be room for reasonable doubt if the prosecution fails to produce conclusive evidence.

The consensual sex approach is a controversial defense. Proving consent, however, may be a difficult task and has the potential to harm the defendant. An experienced criminal law attorney may be able to provide useful advice for tackling such cases.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Former judge indicted on 10 sexual assault counts," June 19, 2014

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