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A deeper look at media reports of alleged sex crimes

Circumstances leading to charges of sexual abuse must be considered along with allegations of wrongdoing. Published reports of most sex crimes include little but accusations. Media outlets often do not, will not or cannot give a full account of the story, which is critical to criminal defense.

A 36-year-old Bergen County man was recently arrested for the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl. The man was living in a South Hackensack motel when he was arrested by a special unit of the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office.

The teenager alleged she had sexual activities one time with the "acquaintance." The news account did not say where the reported assault took place or how the girl knew the man. Did the incident happen at the motel? How did the two meet? What conditions made the teen report the alleged encounter?

The minor's allegations and the suspect's sexual assault and child welfare endangerment charges were released in police reports. Bail was set at over $202,000. No more was said about the circumstances involved.

In a separate Bergen County case, a 53-year-old Rutherford man turned himself in to police after a raid on his home. County officials conducted a computer search and alleged the suspect viewed and uploaded child porn images on an unnamed social network.

The suspect is charged with endangering the welfare of minors through possession and distribution of child pornography.

The reported story did not include what or who tipped off investigators to the pornography images. Did authorities verify that the computer the suspect used was his alone? Did anyone else live in the Rutherford residence who may have had computer access? Did the suspect take pornographic pictures or did he upload and distribute other peoples' images?

Many published accounts of alleged sex crimes give superficial views. The criminal defense of sexual abuse allegations is dependent upon details of the entire story.

Source: northjersey.com, "Former Rochelle Park resident faces multiple charges," June 7, 2012

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