A 28-year-old man is facing charges of kidnapping, criminal sexual abuse, and criminal sexual assault after an attack on a spa worker. Police say that the woman was folding towels when the suspect entered the spa and forced her into another room. Video surveillance shows her being grabbed by the hair. A struggle ensued and eventually, the spa worker was able to escape. She called a friend from a nearby alleyway who eventually phoned the police.
Against the advice of his public defender, the suspect admitted to entering the spa but said the worker became upset with him when his credit card was declined after a massage. Video surveillance appears to show a man pulling the victim into a room by the hair. The same video shows the woman leaving the room to phone the police.
Against the advice of his counsel, the defendant will take the position that he was targeted by the complainant because he could not pay for the massage.
Is This a Good Defense?
There is no single defense that universally works in every case. Painting a complainant as a vindictive individual who was trying to harm the defendant is a useful strategy in many cases. These cases tend not to have damning evidence of video surveillance showing the defendant dragging the complainant into another room. However, the complainant managed to talk her way out of the room, leave unrestrained, and phone a friend. With physical evidence indicating that there was an attack, visible bruises on the victim, and video surveillance showing part of the attack, it will be difficult for the defendant to claim that his card was declined unless there is evidence that the card was swiped.
The problem for the defendant is that this specific claim can be checked. The point of sale device would record a card being declined. It would likely show an employee running the card. If the defendant wants to raise this as a defense, he will need to establish that there is evidence that the card was run and subsequently declined. Otherwise, everything will look exactly the way the complainant said it occurred. Chances are good that his public defender knows that the prosecution has evidence of the attack on surveillance and there is no indication that the man’s card was rejected. Hence, chances are good that this is a bad defense that will be easily debunked by the prosecution.
To Present a Case or Not
The prosecution must always present a case. In other words, they must have a theory as to what happened. As a defendant, you do not need to present a case. You do not need a theory as to why you did not commit a crime. Hence, the defense’s best strategy is to commit to no strategy at all and simply say that the prosecution has it all wrong. That is likely what the defense attorney was hoping to do. However, his client wanted to present an alternative theory. Now both client and defense attorney are stuck arguing this theory.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a serious crime in the Chicago area, call criminal defense attorney David Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 and we can begin preparing a credible defense immediately.