The internet and social media has revolutionized how people interact with one another. For example, two people who may have never crossed paths before the internet could now end up living happily ever after. Of course, some issues regarding meeting people in this manner are potentially problematic; for example, it may be difficult to confirm the veracity of a person’s claims about him or herself. As a result, some people are shocked when they learn a new acquaintance’s true age, for example. A man in California has recently been arrested and charged with sex crimes as a result of his alleged relationship with a teenager police say he met online.
The mother of a 16-year-old girl apparently discovered the alleged relationship between her daughter and a 33-year-old man by reading the girl’s text messages. After discovering that the man was a registered sex offender, both mother and daughter contacted police. The teenager reportedly told police that she and the man met online and engaged in consensual sex at her house.
As a result of the girl’s claims, the man’s home was searched, and his computer and phone, as well as other items, were seized by police. He now faces multiple charges as a result of the allegations. However, it is unclear if there is evidence of a sexual relationship beyond the statements made by the young girl.
Because the man has a prior conviction related to similar sex crimes, it is easy for people to assume that he is guilty of the most recent allegations. However, California prosecutors must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in order to gain a conviction. This high burden of proof is often difficult to meet in cases that hinge on one person’s word against another’s. Because some people may be predisposed to assume guilt in this case, the man might benefit from the guidance of an experienced attorney dedicated to ensuring that he is treated lawfully.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Registered offender had sex with Burbank girl, police say“, Alene Tchekmedyian, April 2, 2016