The former director of Integrity House, a girls’ treatment center in Cedar City, was recently cleared of rape and sex-abuse charges. The 43-year-old man had been charged with six first-degree felonies last June after being accused by three alleged victims. Since the time the man was charged, he has maintained his innocence.
According to sources, charges were ultimately dismissed because prosecutors learned that some of the accusers were lying about certain matters, and refused to participate in the prosecution due to mental and emotional problems. No doubt, the dismissal is a great relief for the man, even if he still has to clean up what is left of his reputation.
Criminal charges, of course, carry various consequences with them. On this blog, we usually focus on the legal consequences, such as time behind bars, fines and fees, probation, community service, public registration, and so on. The other half of it is the social consequences, such as loss of one’s livelihood, damaged reputation, family discord, loss of friendships, and stigma. Even after charges are cleared, some of these negative consequences can linger.
Criminal defense work is somewhat limited in its ability to address the negative social consequences of charges like sex abuse and rape, but working with an experienced attorney can certainly help with the legal end of things. Oftentimes, too, how a case is handled by a criminal defense attorney at trial can help shape the public perception of a defendant who is ultimately cleared of charges or determined to be not guilty. This is why it is so important to work with a skilled attorney who knows how to address the case from multiple angles so as to achieve the best outcome for the defendant.
Source: Salt Lake Tribune, “Sex crimes dismissed against former Utah youth home director,” Stephen Hunt, April 8, 2014.