That is the case with a local police officer from Hayward, California. This officer was recently arrested on several counts of child molestation. The charges stem from over 10 years ago, when he worked in a middle school with children in an after-school community program. The officer, 38, was recently taken into custody.
Sources note that the man was the lead teacher at the after-school program. Though the purported actions took place years ago, police note that a victim came forward about the acts earlier this year. This has lead to further investigations.
The officer has been arrested on three counts of “lewd and lascivious” acts with young children between the ages of 12 and 14.
Police assert that the defendant abused several victims at various middle and elementary schools. The abuse purportedly took place on school grounds.
Lewd and Lascivious charges
The statute of limitations in California allows lewd and lascivious charges to move forward at any time, providing the victim was younger than the age of 18 at the time of the incident. The charges must precipitate before the victim turns 28, too.
Sex offense charges like this one carry a significant stigma with them in the community. A conviction can follow an offender for the rest of his or her life. For one, some offenders must register in a system. Also, sex crime convictions often come complete with mandatory minimum sentences. This is especially true when crimes involve multiple acts against one or more victims. In essence, a guilty verdict can wreak havoc on one’s reputation, employment, housing or overall acceptance in society.
Despite the charges, it is important to recall that every defendant is innocent until proven otherwise. The suspect in the aforementioned case is said to have a good reputation in the department. His colleges note that the man is known for being ethical and sound. The defendant is on paid administrative leave while the investigation unfolds.
If you are facing charges for a sex crime, it is imperative to act quickly. The damage begins with accusations – even when a person is innocent. However, evidence must be assessed thoroughly before prosecutors can use it against you. To learn more about the status of your case, contact a criminal defense attorney in the Hayward area.