Posted on May 10, 2012 9:11am PDT Steven Eversole
Birmingham sex crimes defense attorneys know that it takes a lot to prove these kinds of cases.
Birmingham sex crimes are often complicated matters in terms of how prosecutors will build their cases. The more time that goes by between an offense an arrest, the weaker that evidence may be.
In cases where an arrest comes months or even years after an offense, it's because some sort of DNA evidence has emerged. While that may go a long way in swaying a judge or jury, cases are rarely built on science alone. Another element that is also vitally important is witness testimony. The fact is, the longer time goes by, the weaker that evidence becomes - memories fade, details blur.
It's important to have an experienced Birmingham criminal defense lawyer on your side because the stakes are truly to high to take your chances with a public defender.
In this case, police allege that the suspect burglarized a woman's Highland Avenue residence, which was on the second story of an apartment building. He reportedly entered through a balcony. He then allegedly sexually assaulted the woman and then stabbed her in the stomach and cut her throat.
The woman survived those injuries, and has since recovered.
Police say that in addition to that woman's residence, the same suspect was believed to have broken into two other homes in the Southside area during that same month, which was July 2011.
The police department's sex crimes unit commissioned a composite sketch of the suspect.
Police have now said that composite, along with other sources that they aren't yet revealing, led them to a 24-year-old Birmingham man.
In looking at the sketch versus the defendant's mug shot, it's important to note that the only thing similar is the facial hair - which is not highly unique by any measure and which, as we all know, can be easily altered.
It's not clear what other evidence they have against this individual, but if they're going solely based on a sketch, it's going to be a tough sell to a jury.
The defendant is currently being held on charges of attempted murder and first-degree rape, kidnapping and burglary. His bond has been set at $580,000.
According to Alabama Code 13A-6-61, rape in the first degree is defined as either forcing someone to have sexual intercourse against their will or engaging the other person in sex even if he or she is unable to provide consent (i.e., they are unconscious or physically helpless). It's also considered first-degree rape if the alleged victim is under the age of 12 and the offender is over the age of 16. First-degree rape in Alabama is a Class A felony, which means it's punishable by up to life in prison.
Compare that to sexual abuse in the first degree, which under Alabama Code 13A-6-66 is nearly the same, except the act is described as any sexual contact rather than intercourse.
Do Not Plead Guilty. If you or a loved one has been arrested for a sex crime in Birmingham or in any of the surrounding areas, contact Eversole Law Offices for a free initial consultation. Call 866-831-5292.