A recent editorial in The Advocate focused on sexual trauma and mentioned the recent sexual assault case out in Steubenville, Ohio as a reminder of the need to educate the community about sexual trauma and to work for its prevention. Some very good points were made in the editorial.
According to the Baton Rouge Police Department, while violent crimes-murder, rape, robbery-increased in 2012, the overall number of "major crimes" actually reduced. Major crimes, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program, include not only murder, rape and robbery, but also manslaughter, assault, burglary, theft, auto theft and arson.
Following a suspected rape of a female student at N.P. Moss Preparatory last week in Lafayette, both the school system and the Police Department have made changes to procedures at the school. A police officer trained as a school resource officer is now assigned to the school, and two police officers have been providing support to the campus since November.
We recently told our readers about an Ohio rape case that made national news after social media sites began to discuss the issue. As we noted, the press the case has received has not been particularly helpful for the defendants, who now face the added challenge of public judgment before they are tried in a court of law. Now, social media is being used in support of pending legal arguments for both the alleged victim and the defendants, creating a unique dynamic between prosecution, defense, and the jury.
One of the aspects of criminal defense that can be a real challenge to deal with is what happens outside the courtroom. The reality is that there is a court of public opinion which can reach its own judgment before a criminal case is even tried. This can lead to numerous personal difficulties for the accused, and can even affect how a trial moves forward, beginning with jury selection.
Earlier this month, a 44-year-old man was acquitted of forcible rape in connection with an incident last year. The jury unanimously acquitted the man after a two-day trial that was largely based on testimony from the alleged victim and the defendant.
In two areas of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, residents are faced with a choice on a Dec. 8 ballot on whether they want to pay additional fees to support enhanced security efforts intended to prevent violent crime such as murder or rape. The measures, if approved by voters, would establish crime prevention districts in Melrose East in one instance, and in Mayfair Heights, Mayfair Park and Mayfair Park East on the other.
Newly released statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation show that Baton Rouge crime numbers surpassed those of nearby New Orleans. That city, which is often maligned for its high crime rates, actually had a lower rate of violent crimes when compared to the Baton Rouge metro area. New Orleans' violent crime rate was about 800 per 100,000 residents, while Baton Rouge had about 1,065 per 100,000. Those violent crimes include forcible rape, robbery, assault and aggravated assault, among others.
Maybe it was being distraught over the rape and murder of his 14-year-old cousin or the mental anguish and pressure of a nine-hour police interrogation process. Whatever the reason, over 15 years ago, a deckhand on a river workboat confessed to the crime himself.