The Center for Disease Prevention and Control reports that people with disabilities are 4 to 10 times more likely to be victimized compared to people without disabilities. Of those who were victimized, 11.5 percent of those with a disability were victims of sexual assault. This compares to 3.9 percent of adults without disabilities.
Recently in Midland County a man was accused of sexually abusing a woman with a developmental disability. The abuse allegedly began when she was a 9-year-old and continued for 16 years. The 73-year-old man has been charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct against someone under the age of 13.
According to the police, there were pornographic images of the young woman which the man is accused of creating. The 73-year-old was additionally charged with producing or making child sexually abusive material, criminal sexual conduct by force or coercion and five counts of possessing child sexually abusive material.
One of the issues that makes sexual abuse of a developmentally disabled a difficult case to either prove or disprove is that the alleged victim is often not a reliable witness on his or her own behalf. Sometimes the person is under the illusion that the other person is a boyfriend or girlfriend. At other times, the person may have an unclear idea of what is right or wrong.
The pornographic images are another matter however. At question may be whether the police followed proper procedures in the search and seizure of the 73-year-old's home.
These are serious charges and the 73-year-old is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Source: LSJ.com, "Michigan man charged with assaulting girl over 16 years," Aug. 3, 2012
At our Lansing, Michigan, law firm we represent individuals who have been charged with sex crimes including sexual assault or the crime of creating or possessing child pornography similar to the accusations described in this post.