Many of our readers have probably heard by now about the Memphis police officer who was arrested recently. Any type of arrest is usually a major problem for a police officer, sounding the bell on the end of a career. However, for this officer, his arrest for rape and incest is likely to have far greater impact on his personal life than just the end of his career.

According to the reports, the 33-year-old officer is alleged to have had inappropriate sexual contact with a 16-year-old family member. He is facing three sexual assault charges: rape, incest and statutory rape by an authority figure. If convicted, he could face a lengthy prison sentence, as well as the possibility of having to list himself on the sex offender registry.

It appears that the investigation of this particular officer began in October of this year after more than one source reported the alleged illegal behavior. This officer has been employed with the Memphis Police Department for the last six years, and he has since been relieved of duty.

Anyone who is facing a sex crimes charge is sure to encounter an aggressive prosecution. But perhaps the more discouraging aspect of a sex offense charge is the social stigma which can be attached to the accused, even if they are the victim of false accusations. The reality of today’s public is that many people will immediately assign guilt upon hearing about this type of case, even though one of the foundations of the American judicial system is “innocent until proven guilty.” When those of us on the outside of these types of allegations see it in the news, it is better to remember that everyone has constitutional rights which need to be protected.

Source: The Commercial Appeal, “Memphis Police officer arrested for rape, incest,” Jody Callahan, Nov. 27, 2012