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Mich. man does 7 years after being wrongly accused of sex crime

Serious criminal charges can lead to serious penalties, such a prison time. If the charges are related to an alleged sexual crime, the defendant may also have to register as a sex offender also, which will affect his or her life after he or she is released.

That is why it is vital that every person facing felony charges in Michigan is entitled to a criminal defense attorney. But just having an attorney is not enough. The vast majority of defense attorneys in the state are hard working, dedicated advocates for their clients. But occasionally, an attorney fails to provide sufficient representation, and the client unjustly goes to prison.

That is what happened to a 76-year-old Michigan man. In 2006, he was found guilty of sexually assaulting his daughter. What was unusual about the case was that the trial lasted just 53 minutes, did not include a jury, and seems to have involved little evidence that the man did what the prosecution claimed he did.

The defendant went through an acrimonious divorce with the mother of his young daughter. After receiving just $45,000 in the divorce, the former wife twice accused the defendant of assault -- accusations that apparently went nowhere with the police.

But then she told police that her ex-husband had molested their 8-year-old daughter during visitation time. Though the defendant said he had simply applied some medication onto her genitals, he was arrested and charged with criminal sexual content.

As we said above, charges like these require a vigorous defense. But as we will discuss in our next post, the defendant’s lawyer made several errors that left him virtually undefended in court -- and cost him seven years of his life.

Source: Detroit Free Press, “Ex-Chrysler engineer cleared in sex case sues defense attorney after 7 years in prison,” L.L. Brasier, Jan. 20, 2014

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