It took a Miami-Dade jury about two hours to find a 28-year-old man guilty of sexual battery and having sexual contact with a minor.
He was also found guilty of theft and false imprisonment, but those charges were lesser-included charges. The State had originally charged the accused with armed robbery and kidnapping, in addition to sexual battery.
According to the State Attorney's Office, the accused in this is pending trial in several other sexual battery cases.
Sexual battery, or rape, is a difficult charge to defend against. However, the approach taken by the criminal defense attorney may determine the success of the outcome. For one, cases in which there is DNA evidence, it may be best to put on a consent defense. That is, the defense does not dispute the fact that the two parties (alleged victim and accused) had sex, but that the sex was consensual.
If the alleged victim is a minor, consent is not a defense. If the alleged victim is a minor and there is DNA evidence, it may be best to negotiate a plea.
Attacking the "credibility" of DNA evidence worked once, and that was in the O.J. Simpson trial when DNA evidence was brand new. In 2011, DNA evidence is commonplace in the criminal justice system. It can exist in all types of cases, from non-violent property crimes to murder.
DNA evidence is unique because your DNA is unique. That means that if DNA can be extracted from a bodily fluid (blood, semen, sweat) and compared to DNA extracted from the accused (usually by buccal swab), there is likely a 1 in several trillion chance that that DNA belongs to somebody else. In other words, DNA evidence will suggest that you are the only person in the known universe who could have committed the crime.
In this case, a consent defense wouldn't have worked because the alleged victim was a minor at the time of the alleged offense. If there was DNA evidence, the defense attorney should have worked toward securing a favorable plea agreement. If there was no DNA, then a defense lawyer must proceed on the theory that somebody else committed the crime and that the accused was misidentified by the alleged victim.
If you or a loved one are facing sexual battery charges in Miami-Dade or Broward, call me.