Those who face criminal charges face a daunting task to clear their names, but for those charged with sex crimes, just being charged can be enough to destroy one’s life. This seems antithetical in our American system as those accused of crimes are supposedly presumed innocent. However, for those wrapped up in the often too broad net in government sex crime investigations, the presumption is often that they are guilty until proven innocent, at least in the court of public opinion. One local SWAT officer is currently facing this fight.
Originally, on Oct. 21, the Baltimore Police SWAT officer faced charges that included third-degree sex offense, second-degree assault and sex abuse of a minor. Now, though, the Harford County Grand Jury just added an additional 10 counts of possession of child pornography. Of course, the officer denies the allegations vehemently and wants his day in court.
Already facing consequences without a conviction
The officer was originally released on a $30,000 bond. But, after the new charges were filed, he was taken back into custody and will face another detention hearing this week. This will likely mean he will have to pay an additional bond, likely in a much higher amount.
And, even though the officer has worked for the city since 2006, the Baltimore Police Department suspended him without pay. They do so after the initial charges, even though the state has yet to attain a conviction.
Bluntly, no one is safe from charges by police, even the police. We often hear about the thin blue line that separates police from the rest of us, but this case shows that anyone, no matter their position in life, can face a sex crime charge.
However, this does not mean that those accused in Glen Burnie, Maryland, are without options. First, when arrested, do not say anything, and ask for a lawyer immediately. Second, contact an attorney with experience litigating sex crime charges. Finally, build a strong defense with that attorney, which may include media contacts and litigating with an employer. Remember, just because one is charged, does not mean one is guilty, and no one deserves to face penalties for crimes they did not commit.