An accusation of a sex crime carries a powerful social stigma and can have life-long implications. If convicted, the penalties are often strong, often with mandatory sex offender registry. The expression “sex offense” denotes a wide range of behavior, including rape, viewing child pornography and human trafficking.
A recent Illinois case was somewhat unusual in that the man accused of serially raping prostitutes first paid them for sexual services. What turned his behavior from simply paying for sex to charges of rape is that the women asked him to stop after first implying consent by accepting payment.
Two women testified in the man's first trial in February. The 45-year-old defendant, from Woodstock, would contact women that advertised their services online. The women testified that the man's behavior became aggressive, violent and scared them. When they asked him to stop, he declined, reminding them that he had paid for sex. Afterward, he would follow with threats that if the women reported him, he would report them for prostitution. He faces accusations of raping eight women. The man's attorney defended his actions as part of a business deal with the women.
The man appeared in court again this month, and he agreed to plead guilty to two more sexual assault charges. In exchange, the rest of the cases against him will end, and he will not face additional prosecution should any of the tapes confiscated from his home reveal further malfeasance.
Intense public interest in sexual offense charges means that prosecutors work very hard to achieve convictions. When a person is charged with a sex crime, he or she has the right to be defended in court by an attorney who is familiar with the intricacies of the law. Sometimes, as in this case, a reduction in charges and future immunity may be achieved through a properly executed plea arrangement.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Craigslist rapist pleads guilty to more crimes,” Amanda Marrazzo and Duaa Eldeib, March 17, 2014