New England Patriots wide receiver and special teams member Julian Edelman appeared in Boston Municipal Court recently to address charges that he groped a woman on a dance floor, the Boston Herald reports.
A Boston sex crimes lawyer has seen how allegations that appear innocent on the surface can lead to serious charges and tough penalties against a defendant.
Sex crimes in Boston not only can include the possibility of jail or prison time and probation. If convicted, a defendant could be forced to register as a sex offender. This means their photo, address, identifying marks such as tattoos and other information will be displayed on state and national websites. They must notify law enforcement where they’re moving from and where they’re moving to. If they don’t, they can be charged again.
A sex crimes conviction in Boston follows a person for life unless it is fought vigorously in the court system. Sadly, athletes and celebrities can sometimes be victimized because of their fame.
In Edelman’s case, he pleaded not guilty to a charge of indecent assault and battery. He is accused of reaching up a woman’s Halloween costume on the dance floor of a Back Bay nightclub.
A male witness said he watched the woman’s expression change on her face to “shock” after the player allegedly “grabbed her vagina,” a police report states. After the male witness threatened to “beat up” Edelman, he and the woman were kicked out of the club. Edelman was eventually removed from the club, but denied the allegations to police.
WEEI reports that Edelman said nothing during his initial court appearance. He was released on his own recognizance and ordered to stay away from the club and the alleged victim.
Edelman is a third-year player who was drafted in 2009 out of Kent State University. This season, he has three catches for 25 yards and 47 catches for 470 yards in his career. He has played mainly special teams for the Patriots this season, also returning kicks.
This appears to be a case of what will amount to a he said/she said situation, although there appears to be a witness who will testify for the state as well. It’s unclear whether the woman was flirting with Edelman before the alleged incident or if they were dancing close to each other before this allegedly happened.
Alcohol can sometimes be a factor and police must address that when they are called to a scene. If a person claiming to be a victim has been affected by alcohol and a night of drinking, investigators must consider that in deciding to file charges and it could influence a jury’s evaluation of the credibility of witnesses. This is common in cases of alleged domestic violence in Boston. When police arrive at a house, they sometimes assume the person considered the victim is telling the truth and the accused is lying.
But with sex crimes, the consequences are much more severe. Possible penalties are steep and the long-term impacts are great. Such charges must be fought aggressively.
Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer Michael DelSignore represents clients facing serious misdemeanor and felony charges throughout the state.
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