Criminal accusations such as rape are very serious for those who are charged. Emotions are high and allegations can be damaging to suspects.

A Lancaster man is facing rape charges based on allegations that he sexually assaulted a teen over a period of three years, beginning when she was 14. The man has been charged with statutory rape, assault and corruption of minors, along with other charges.

A statutory rape charge, like other sexual crime charges, puts the accused in an extremely serious situation. A person accused of child sexual abuse can face an uphill legal battle. The public does not have a high tolerance for those charged with sex crimes. Allegations of sexual misconduct can harm a person’s professional and personal life. Even if not convicted, the accused person can lose their job, their family, and suffer permanent damage to their reputation. If convicted, the accused may face fines and prison time, and their name will be added to the national sex offender database making it very difficult to ever regain their professional and personal reputation.

If a person is accused of rape or other sexual crimes, consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney is critical. The accused will have a chance to tell their side of the story in court, and defenses to these charges can be made. It is not unusual for false accusations of sex crimes to be made, out of motives of jealousy or revenge. In some cases a charge may be based on a mistaken identification. If the victim was an adult, there may be evidence they consented to the sexual activity. And if the evidence against the accused appears overwhelming, it is often still possible to negotiate a plea deal that will significantly reduce the charges or the sentence or both.

Source: Localmemphis.com, “Lancaster’s Michael J. Fox charged with rape,” June 28, 2013