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The term “rape” covers a range of criminal offenses relating to sexual conduct. The formal term for a rape charge is usually sexual assault—with the seriousness of the offense indicated by the degree of the offense charged. For example, first-degree sexual assault.
Sex offenses are some of the most aggressively prosecuted crimes. Likewise, sex offenses are some of the most severely punished crimes.
Sex offenses like rape and statutory rape are also unique in the evidence that is brought to trial. Typically the alleged victims in sex-related offenses are women and children. The very identity of the alleged victims can make the case difficult, as jurors may be swayed to convict an individual based solely on the nature of the case and sympathy for the alleged victim rather than on the evidence or lack thereof.
Rape cases are often made more complex by the fact that they often are not reported for a lengthy period of time after the alleged offense. This time delay can make it difficult for the defendant to gather and secure evidence to defend himself or herself.
In some cases, there is little or no physical evidence of alleged crime. Such cases turn on the believability of the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator. Skillful witness examination and cross-examination is necessary in such cases. These examinations take special skills so as not to appear too aggressive while still effectively uncovering any inconsistencies or flaws in the alleged victim’s testimony.
In other cases, scientific evidence such as rape examinations or DNA evidence may be brought forward against the defendant. In cases that hinge on scientific evidence, it is important to have a defense attorney who is comfortable with the scientific issues in the case.
Schatz, Anderson & Associates, LLC, is a well-established criminal defense law firm with a reputation for successfully taking on complex and sensitive cases on behalf of clients throughout Utah. Our attorneys offer our criminal defense services across the state, including in and around communities like Salt Lake City, Provo, Ogden, and St. George.
If you or someone you know has been arrested on charges of rape, statutory rape, or other sexual assault, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule a complimentary and confidential initial consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense lawyers.
We have a fully staffed knowledgeable, experienced legal team ready to help you. Schedule your consultation today!