Earlier this month, a Baton Rouge man was indicted on charges of rape connected to an incident that took place in 1987 at the Bellemont Hotel on Airline Highway. The 47-year-old man was specifically charged with aggravated rape of a 32-year-old woman.

The man was arrested last March after a test performed at the State Police Crime Lab matched Jones’ DNA to DNA evidence collected during the rape investigation at shortly after the incident. According to prosecutors, the man struck the woman repeatedly in the face during the sexual assault. If convicted of the crime, the defendant would face an automatic sentence of life in prison.

While DNA is often a factor in confirming or denying a defendant’s involvement in a rape, it isn’t the only factor to be considered. The stories behind allegations can be complex, as our readers know, and the obvious answer is not always the accurate one.

Rape charges, serious as they are, have serious consequences, including long prison sentences, job loss, damaged reputation and lifelong registration as a sex offender. Those accused of rape have a large task ahead of them: building a solid defense.

In defending oneself against rape charges, it is important to protect one’s legal rights, challenge false allegations, and take advantage of every opportunity to point out the weak points in the prosecution’s case.

Criminal defense in rape cases can help in a number of ways, including helping the defendant to understand the legal consequences and likely outcome of the case; working with the prosecutor for a reduction of charges and sentences; and working for alternative sentence programs.

Source: The Advocate, “Baton Rouge man indicted in 1987 rape case,” August 2, 2012.