Under the Constitution of the United States and the state of Mississippi, everyone is entitled to a defense. My job, as your Tupelo sex crimes defense lawyer, is to build an effective case using every possible legal means at my disposal. Learn more about my criminal defense philosophy involving sex crimes.
Experience and Expert Resources to Build Your Defense
My undergraduate degree in psychology and vast knowledge and experience with psychiatry and forensics have proven invaluable in a trial, particularly in sex crime cases. I handled the first sex crime case in our area to use DNA evidence.
In my experience, these crimes fit three basic categories:
- Violent sex crimes, such as rape and sexual battery
- Sexual acts in which consent is not involved
- Sex crimes involving children, such as child molestation, child pornography possession, child porn distribution and online solicitation of a minor
Violent Sex Crimes
Violent sexual crime includes rape and may have an accompanying charge of kidnapping or aggravated assault. A sexual battery charge can result in a sentence of life in prison. I have handled a number of violent sex crime cases, representing clients ranging from teenagers to older adults.
Child Sex Crimes
There are two types of sex crimes involving actual sexual contact with an underage person:
- Consensual sexual activity with a person who is not old enough to give consent (statutory rape)
- Non-consensual activity with a young person (whether child or teenager)
There are also sex crimes in which a child is not present—the entire range of child pornography charges, as well as online solicitation of a minor where the person being solicited may have been a law enforcement decoy, not an underage person.
Teenagers, Consent, and Sex Crimes
Consensual sex crimes involve people for whom consent is not necessary because they are underage and unable to legally give consent to sex. In these cases, the prosecutor does not need to prove there was consent. However, there may be extenuating circumstances that an experienced Mississippi statutory rape defense attorney can use to build a defense.
Non-Consensual Sexual Activity Involving Teens or Children
Sex crimes involving children and teens can range from inappropriate touching (fondling) to child molestation.
Fondling is touching a person under a certain age for lustful purposes. The touching can occur on any part of the body—it is not confined to the sex organs. It is the intent of the touching to gratify one’s sexual lust that makes fondling illegal.
There need be no proof of penetration and there is generally no evidence that the touching occurred, except the statement of the child. In order to develop a defense, it is necessary to determine whether there was an ulterior motive by someone with influence over the child who coached the child to make the accusation.
Sexual battery—forcible sex with an underage person—is the most serious crime. It includes child sexual assault and child molestation. If the child victim is under the age of 10, he or she would be considered of a “tender age” and too young to defend him or herself.
Online Sex Crimes
There’s been a tremendous increase in criminal charges for online sex crimes—including online solicitation of a minor—where no child was actually involved. In these cases, a cyber-crime unit in an adjoining county conducts sting operations in which an adult goes online and portrays him or herself as a minor and then entices an adult to agree to a potentially unlawful act.
Child pornography is another common online sex crime, including possession of child pornography, child porn distribution, and production of child pornography.
Defense Against False Accusations by Children
The Department of Human Services has developed protocols concerning the questioning of children. It is now the standard to have a social worker take the child to a specially trained forensic interviewer who is a social worker with expertise in interviewing children.
This is not to say that children are not molested or that some charges are not legitimate. However, sometimes the charges aren’t legitimate, and you need an attorney who is qualified to look at the entire circumstance of how the charges arose.
How I Defend Sex Crimes
In the handling of a criminal case, it is the job of the prosecutor to present the law enforcement side of the case. It is the role of the judge to be neutral and to facilitate the hearing. And it is the role of the defense attorney to bring out the best side of the defendant’s case. It is not my job to judge.
Why You Should Hire a Private Defense Lawyer
If you or a family member has been charged with a sex crime, you need to spend the money necessary to get the best available defense counsel in your case. Your reputation, your employment, your liberty—everything is at stake.
Consequences of a Sex Offense
Aside from a permanently ruined reputation, if you are convicted of a sex crime and sentenced to the sex offender registry, you will have to register with a sheriff each time you change your address. Your name and address will become public information. Failing to re-register is itself a felony and you could find yourself back in prison if you do not promptly re-register.
Contact Me, a Mississippi Sex Crime Lawyer
If you are facing any criminal charge for a sex crime, I will stand by your side. Call Gene Barton Law Firm at 662-276-1686, or contact me online for a free initial consultation regarding any criminal charge you face in the Tupelo, Mississippi area.