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Charges dismissed in five year old New Jersey sexual assault case

For most people five years doesn’t seem like a very long time. For those who are accused of a crime, awaiting trial or serving time in prison, however, five years can seem like an eternity. Even if the charges are dismissed, it can cause damage to a reputation and have a lasting impact on a person’s personal and professional life, making it harder to find employment, maintain a long-term relationship or qualify for a loan. Those who are accused of sex crimes in New Jersey may also find it more difficult to find housing, and when they do find a home, neighbors who learn of the charges often shun the accused.

In 2008, complaints of sexual assault were filed against a petty officer in the Coast Guard as well as a female companion. The victim was a teenage girl at a campground in New Jersey. According to court records, the pair was cleared of the charges—after five long years. It is unknown why the charges were dismissed, but some of the most common reasons that charges for sexual crimes are dropped include: lack of evidence; violation of Fourth, Fifth or Sixth Amendment rights; or a problem with the chain of custody relating to evidence.

Those who have been charged with any type of sex crime—whether it is sexual harassment, online solicitation or sexual assault—may want to consult with a criminal defense attorney. An experienced attorney can complete a thorough review of the case to determine if there is enough evidence or if any personal rights were violated during the initial investigation. Those who have charges dismissed may also want to seek legal help to have their criminal record expunged. While this is a lengthy process, it might be worth it protect their future.

Source: South Jersey Times, “Sex assault charges against Coast Guard petty officer, woman dismissed,” Joe Green, May 14, 2013.