Earlier this week, we received great news regarding one of our client's cases which we have been fighting for the past two years. We were able to get a HUGE dismissal for one of our younger clients charged with Incest.
Incest Charges Dismissed in OK Case
Through our diligent representation, we were able to work out a dismissal for our client by utilizing an alternative means of addressing the harm that had occurred. If our client had instead received a conviction for Incest, or even received a deferred prosecution, he would have faced very difficult prospects of becoming a productive member of our society. He would have been labeled a sex offender and subjected to the harsh reality that those individuals face on an everyday basis.
How were we able to get this result?
The biggest aspect a lawyer involved in the representation of sex crimes must understand when dealing with a rape case, a lewd molestation representation, or a sex crime such as incest, is that there are almost always two victims: both the defendant and the complaining witness.
Incest charges in Oklahoma are governed by Section 885 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes. That provision provides that:
Persons who, being within the degrees of consanguinity within which marriages are by the laws of the state declared incestuous and void, intermarry with each other, or commit adultery or fornication with each other, shall be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections not exceeding ten (10) years. As such, attorneys involved in sex crimes representation have to realize something that I firmly believe: sexually deviant behavior is not a character trait; it is a learned process. As I've always said, "violence begets violence." Incest is not a normal activity in our society. In fact, some might argue that it goes directly against one of our bedrock foundations: family relations.
As such, there is a good argument to be made: such conduct should only result from the influence of some extraneous aggravation. It is obviously not something that is inherent in our culture.
Not surprisingly, almost all of the individuals I represent who are charged with a sex crime have previously been sexually abused themselves, more often than not at a young age. Now, I am no medical doctor, nor am I a trained psychiatrist, but I see the cycle of abuse play out far too often in my practice for it to be ignored.
In no way is prior sexual abuse a justification for a person's willful decision to violate the law, but it can be seen as a puzzle piece the system can use to complete the full picture of why the violation may have occurred; more importantly, it might give incredible insight into how we can keep the deviant activity from ever occurring again.
Truth be told, my client was a victim of sexual abuse as well at the hands of a family member. With this realization, we were able to shift the focus from the criminal activity to the corrective capability of the justice system as a whole. With the cooperation of the prosecution, light was finally shed on my client's mental health and the issues he was dealing with.
Consequently, we were able to formulate a treatment plan for him based on the certified investigation and report of an expert in sexually-deviant behavior. Once my client completed the treatment plan, the state of Oklahoma felt that there was no further risk of harm that could result from the situation. Once the prosecution is satisfied in that respect, the justifications for further punishment often dissipate. Both my client and the complaining witness have received the help they need. I believe justice was served. For more information contact the Law Offices of Adam R. Banner.