A college football player is facing serious charges of sexual assault after authorities say that he pushed a woman into a stairwell, knocking her unconscious and then raping her. The force of the shove left her with a fractured spine. He is now facing charges of felony sexual assault and misdemeanor domestic violence.
According to the allegations, the football player accused the woman of cheating on him. The argument grew tenser, and he pushed the woman into a stairwell. The woman was injured enough that she lost mobility, and she began pleading with the football player to call an ambulance. He refused, and instead, he raped her.
Had he called an ambulance, he would have likely faced charges for misdemeanor domestic violence, been required to take an anger management course, and possibly been able to establish himself at another university. But the event did not unfold that way, and he is now facing criminal sexual assault charges that would include significant prison time. At this point, he has been suspended indefinitely, pending the outcome of the investigation.
Analyzing the charges
This would be a difficult case to defend. While in a lot of cases, you can argue that the victim consented to the sexual contact and then rescinded that consent, an injured person is unlikely to ever consent. In the context of an argument and then a physical attack, authorities would only need to establish that sexual contact occurred, and they can do this via a rape kit. So, the charge of sexual assault can be established simply by proving that sexual contact occurred.
For a defendant, this is the worst place you can find yourself. The football player has little room to claim that the sexual contact was consensual, even though he had an established relationship with the victim.
Sexual assault prosecutions
Sexual assault prosecutions are made more difficult by the fact that they often boil down to a he-said-she-said account of the night in question. This gives defendants a broad array of defenses that they can raise while facing charges. This puts the prosecution in the position of either taking the case before a jury or settling it for a lesser charge. In the event that the defendant will not take the plea (and registering as a sex offender is enough to discourage them), then the prosecution has to take the case before a jury. Often, it can go either way because the standard of proof in a criminal case (unlike a civil case) is quite high. But once you have evidence of physical assault, it is hard to argue that the ensuing sexual contact was consensual.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today
David Freiderg represents the interests of Chicago residents who have been accused of sex crimes. Call today at (312) 560-7100 to schedule an appointment, and we can discuss your defense strategy immediately.