The media has lately been filled with stories of sexual harassment of women by powerful men. The Orlando police recently announced two arrests that provide a novel twist to the issue of sexual harassment. Two women have been charged with attempting to thwart a police investigation of sex crimes committed by a 32-year-old male.
The initial criminal conduct involved charges of sexual battery against a 12-year-old girl. The accused offender allegedly sexually abused the girl more than five times. He was arrested on August 22. At the time of his arrest, he told police that he was a “sovereign citizen” and not subject to police control.
Two women then allegedly tried to persuade the alleged victim to change her testimony. One of the women is a relative of the victim. Police allege that the two female suspects knew of the abuse, but failed to report it. One of the two women also failed to appear at police headquarters for interviews about the case. Possible motivation for the behavior of the two women has not been disclosed.
One of the women has been charged with tampering with a witness, and the other one has been charged with being an accessory after the fact to a capital felony, harassing a witness and failure to report child abuse. Police have also said that they are investigating other family members who may have attempting to tamper with the investigation. The police contend that the failure of the two women to report the sexual battery opens the child to additional abuse and constitutes additional victimization of the girl.
This case involves two hot-button issues: sexual abuse of a minor and tampering with the judicial system. Anyone facing either of these two types of charges may benefit from consulting a capable criminal defense attorney for advice on potential defenses and the likelihood of obtaining a favorable plea agreement or an outright acquittal.
Source: Orlando.com, “Women attempted to prevent prosecution of accused child rapist, police say,” Emilee speck, Nov. 8, 2017