One of the worst crimes you can be charged with in Chicago is criminal sexual assault, or rape. Not only does it create a stigma against the person charged, but often results in lengthy prison sentences and lifetime registration as a sex offender.
You may have read in the Chicago Sun Times about the case regarding Carl Chatman. Mr. Chatman was charged with criminal sexual assault, or rape, by a woman in Chicago. Mr. Chatman was not only convicted of the charges but sentenced to thirty years in the Illinois Department of Corrections as a result. Another notable case regarding Edward Szymczak would have had a similar result if he had remained in Chicago for his trial.
Fortunately the prosecutors eventually reviewed the evidence in Chatman’s case and his rape conviction was thrown out, and he was released from prison after 11 years in custody. Eleven years in custody for a crime Chatman did not commit. At the same time, prosecutors said they were reviewing the woman’s earlier allegations of rape against Szymczak but had not yet reached a conclusion.
These cases bring up the issue of the accusers and their statements. How is it that someone can cry rape falsely, an innocent person is charged with a crime, his reputation is ruined and he is sent to prison? All because someone made a false claim. And nothing happens to the accuser.
It is an abomination of justice. The State of Illinois is currently reviewing these practices and possibly deciding what, if anything, an accuser can face. Many people believe that the accuser should face the same penalties as the accused. If the accused is facing up to thirty years in prison, so should the accused, that is how serious this is. Continue reading