Posted on Sep 28, 2012 12:02pm PDT
An 18-year-old with a promising college football career ahead of him has been sidelines by allegations that he engaged in a sexual relationship with a teen between the ages of 12 and 16.
Birmingham sex crimes defense attorneys know that a conviction on such charges could effectively end his promising aspirations.
While the magnitude of what is at stake in this case makes it even more newsworthy, the fact is that anyone facing these charges has a great deal to lose, and should immediately seek legal counsel before submitting to any testing or questioning by police. This is true even if you believe you have done nothing wrong.
In this case, the age difference between a 15-year-old and an 18-year-old is not all that vast. But it would be enough to warrant criminal charges if the girl or parent complained.
In this case, the Spanish Fort High senior, who is committed to playing football at Alabama University next spring, was arrested after turning himself in on charges of second-degree rape and sodomy.
Alabama Code 13A-6-64 defines sodomy in the second degree as an individual who is 16 years of age or older engaging in "deviate" sexual intercourse with another person who is under 16 and older than 12. It may also be considered a crime if the alleged victim in the case is incapable of consent by reason of being mentally incapacitated. Sodomy in the second-degree is considered a Class B felony, meaning it's punishable by a minimum of 2 years in prison and a maximum of 20 years.
Similarly, Alabama Code 13A-6-62 defines rape in the second degree as when a person who is older than 16 and at least two years older than the alleged victim, who is over the age of 12 but under the age of 16, has sexual intercourse with that younger person, who is of the opposite sex. The same crime would apply if the alleged victim was incapable of consent due to being mentally incapacitated. This crime, too, is ranked as a Class B felony.
Law enforcement officers in the case said the alleged actions occurred between December 2011 and late August 2012. The parents of the alleged victim reportedly filed a complaint after learning about the relationship.
Law enforcement agencies were tight-lipped about what evidence they had culled together in the case, except to say they had found "enough evidence to make an arrest."
It's worth noting that the standard for arrest and the standard for conviction are much different. With the help of an experienced attorney, it is possible to beat such charges.
A great deal of discussion has been had among editorial pundits about whether a senior football player dating or carrying on a sexual relationship with a freshman or sophomore cheerleader should really be considered a crime.
Unfortunately, the law says that it can be, regardless of consent.
Our criminal defense lawyers are committed to fighting for a fair outcome in your case.
If you have been arrested for a sex crime in Birmingham, contact Birmingham Drug Crime Defense Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.
Alabama commit and Spanish Fort star Deon Johnson charged with rape, sodomy, Sept. 7, 2012, By Andrew Gribble, The Birmingham News
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