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Defendant indicted on Baton Rouge forcible rape charge

Louisiana defendants face extremely harsh punishments for sex-related criminal convictions. Lengthy prison terms may be followed by life-long, mandatory registration with a sex offender registry. Public sentiments about sex crime drive prosecutors to push hard for convictions, but these are not obtainable without sufficient proof a crime was committed.

A 23-year-old out-of-state man was indicted by a grand jury recently on a Baton Rouge forcible rape charge. Under Louisiana law, forcible rape occurs when a victim is rendered incapable of resisting intercourse or is prevented from stopping the act due to force or violent threats. Forcible rape is punishable by a five to 40-year prison term and permanent sex offender registry registration.

The defendant's accuser said she met the man, known to her only by a first name, in July on Tinder, a social media website that links users who like one another's profile photos. The two apparently agreed to meet at the woman's apartment, in the same area of Baton Rouge where the defendant was living at the time.

During the arranged date, the woman said the pair spent some time sitting on a couch and talking before moving to a bedroom. The alleged victim said the scene turned violent shortly after the couple started kissing. An affidavit stated the defendant tore away the woman's shorts, slapped the victim and raped her.

The woman stated the man forced her to bathe and delete phone texts the two had exchanged. Just before leaving, the man apparently warned her not to tell anyone about the encounter, which the woman was told to pretend never happened. The defendant's attorney plans to argue the Tinder date sex was consensual.

Evidence is vital when rape charges boil down to the claims of the alleged victim and defendant. Criminal defense attorneys investigate facts beyond the claims and dispute evidence that does not support a charge or conviction.

Source: The Advocate, "Texas man indicted in alleged rape of Baton Rouge woman arranged via social media site Tinder" Joe Gyan Jr., Jan. 21, 2015

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