Recently in Sex Charges Category

Police Say They Have Arrested Santa Ana Serial Rapist

Police recently made some serious allegations in a Santa Ana sex crimes case by arresting a man they're telling the public is responsible for several local sexual assaults.

Being charged with a sex crime in California carries serious penalties, with possible prison sentences that can run into the decades. Defendants can also be stuck having to register as a sexual offender on state and national registries. Those listings can last for years or a lifetime, depending on the severity of the charges.
Santa Ana criminal defense lawyers will question whether a person is actually a "serial" criminal because that is a difficult thing to prove. But law enforcement officers will sometimes jump to conclusions based on a weak string of evidence in trying to clear out many cases at once.

For instance, in Santa Ana burglary cases, detectives will look to see if there's a similar "style," or "description" of a person in different burglaries in the same neighborhood. If they end up arresting one person, they may try to pin several burglaries on that person.

But common sense tells us that most burglaries are done in a similar fashion -- using the same tools, looking for the most expensive goods for example. Usually, descriptions are so vague, anyone could be a potential match. But if police arrest a person and charge them with several crimes, they can mark those cases closed and move on, even if there is no conviction.

A similar thing can happen in sex cases. In this situation, ABC News reports, police have arrested a 39-year-old man from Baldwin Park whom they believe was targeting undocumented residents as well as prostitutes.

The man was charged after he allegedly raped a 23-year-old woman in December. The man allegedly followed her from a Christmas Eve party, forced her into a van, threatened her with a gun, knife and Taser, assaulted her and dumped her body on the side of the road and then tossed her clothing back to her.

Police say they have evidence from the clothing that connects the man to the crime. And after serving a search warrant on his home, detectives say they found guns and a Taser and other evidence they say links him to other victims. The police declined to elaborate on what the other evidence may be.

Because it's unclear what other evidence there is, it's tough to say how legitimate of a case there is. Simply owning guns or a Taser hardly is sound evidence to call a person a rapist. And often in traumatizing events, witnesses can't think clearly enough to get a good look at a suspect.

But if police suggest a person to them, they sometimes get in their head that that's the person, even if it's not. The fact that alleged victims may be undocumented or prostitutes won't help their credibility, unless there is iron-clad proof presented by the state.

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United States v. Burleson Highlights Need For Strong Motion to Suppress in Orange County Felony Cases

A recent case out of New Mexico shows how important hiring an experienced Santa Ana criminal defense attorney who has filed hundreds of motions to suppress can be to a defendant facing a serious criminal charge.

A motion to suppress occurs when the police have gone too far in attempting to get evidence to seek a conviction against a suspect. This can happen when officers mislead judges into signing a search warrant to allow them into a home or business for instance, or if they don't follow procedures and protocols in interrogating a suspect.
These motions should be handled by an experienced lawyer who has represented many clients who have been treated unfairly by police officers. This particular motion is difficult because the burden of proving the misconduct is on the defendant. In most situations, the motion is filed by defendants facing serious felony charges, including murder in Orange County.

In the case of the United States of America v. Carl Roy Burleson, he and two friends were walking down a New Mexico street when a Roswell police officer stopped them.

The stop seems legitimate -- the officer said they were walking in the middle of the street. The officer was also suspicious because one of them was carrying an unleashed dog and there had been a rash of pet thefts recently. The area had also experienced property crime, including a shooting, in recent weeks and it was late at night.

After stopping the three people, the officer was satisfied the dog wasn't stolen, but rather they were worried the dog would run off if it walked on its own because they didn't own a leash. The officer testified he didn't intend to cite them for walking in the middle of the street.

But the issue hinges on the officer's actions after that, during which he asked them for their names and identification. When the officer checked whether they had outstanding criminal warrants, Burleson's name came back with an active warrant.

Upon arrest, he told the officer he had two guns and ammunition on him, which the officer found after handcuffing him. He then was arrested on a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Once his attorney began looking at the case, he filed a motion to suppress the gun and ammunition evidence, stating that the officer had little reason to do a warrants check on three individuals who had been cleared of wrongdoing.

After a hearing, the judge agreed and granted the motion, meaning the gun and ammunition evidence would be tossed out. Essentially, the charge would be dropped if that evidence didn't make it into trial.

But prosecutors appealed the judge's decision, and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals recently took up the case and made a ruling. The panel of judges reversed the judge's decision, surprisingly, ruling that the officer had a right under "officer-safety concerns" to run a warrants check.

While the officer didn't testify that he was worried about his safety, the judges interpreted that being in a bad neighborhood and stopping three people while he was by himself constituted his right to check for warrants to determine if they were known criminals.

It seems to be a stretch for judges to OK a warrants check when no criminal activity is alleged simply because they say an officer could possibly be intimidated. It's unclear at this point whether the man will appeal that ruling.

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Irvine Man Charged In Connection With 3 Sex Offenses

Irvine police have arrested a man they believe to be a serial rape suspect, ABC News is reporting.

According to the news report, an investigated spearheaded by the Irvine police and Newport Beach police departments has led to an arrest in three cases spanning six years.
Sex crimes in Irvine and throughout Orange County are among the toughest to defend in the eye of the public. Many consider an arrest a conviction, though there have been many not guilty verdicts on behalf of these defendants. And that's why hiring an experienced Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney is so important. An aggressive defense ensures the rights that all Americans have to a fair trial.

In this case, a 29-year-old man faces multiple counts of rape and other felonies and he is being held without bail. The investigations go back to 2005 and include cases he is suspected in up to 2010.

According to the news report, the victims in rapes in both cities between May 2005 and July 2010 couldn't provide a description of their attacker because he covered his face. The first case was in May 2005 and the second in November 2006. The second rape was at the same apartment complex as the crime committed on July 7, 2010.

The news report states police set up surveillance in the area following the second rape at that complex last year. This June, police say they received reports of a suspicious person in the area and they stepped up patrols.

The man who was arrested was one of the people seen in the area and he was contacted by police. The article states that police had no DNA or fingerprint matches from the crimes in state or federal databases.

But after "further investigation" forensic experts were able to match fingerprints in the Newport Beach rape case to the man. That print also matched the two Irvine investigations.

The article, however, doesn't make clear how police could have had no matching fingerprints or DNA in the latter cases and all of a sudden they were able to match this man to the crimes. It's possible police overstepped their bounds in the investigation.

And it's also possible that police telling the media they have a fingerprint match could be a partial match. They may not have had probable cause in the first place to consider the man a "suspect" simply for being near an apartment complex. He may have lived there or had friends who lived there.

All of these areas must be scrutinized before trial and it may be possible that evidence could be excluded if it was obtained improperly. That's why hiring an experienced and aggressive Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney is so important. Analyzing all evidence while using years of experience is the only way to get to the bottom of the facts.

It is especially important in sex cases. In California, these charges can lead to years or decades in prison, along with probation, fines and fees and even the possibility of having to register as a sexual offender or sexual predator for life. This means having a person's photo, address and other information in a database for anyone in the world to search. It also means neighbors will be notified when the person moves nearby because they must tell law enforcement when and where they move. Failure to do so can mean more prison time.

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Technology Taking On New Role in Los Angeles Peeping and Stalking Cases

The Los Angeles Times reportsa 20-year-old computer technician is accused of using computer software to spy on women undressing in their Orange County homes.

The arrest comes on the heels of the case of a San Dimas man accused of planting a camera inside the bathroom of a Glendora Starbucks and stalking a female college student.
People accused of peeping and stalking have increasingly turned to technology to further their crimes. But as legislators catch up with technology, they will continue to increase penalties for using computers and online networks in crime. Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyers, however, are prepared to defend any type of stalking case.

Computers can be accessed remotely and an innocent person can find themselves facing criminal charges for something they didn't do. That's why hiring an experienced Internet crimes attorney in Laguna Beach, Fullerton or Anaheim is crucial to a defendant's chances.

In the current case, the 20-year-old man is accused of planting software on college students' computers that brought up an error message that said "You should fix your internal sensor soon. If unsure what to do, try putting your laptop near hot steam for several minutes to clean the sensor."

This error message led several women to take their computers with them into the bathroom when they showered, according to police. It allowed the suspect to record on his computer the women undressing through their web cameras without their knowledge.

Police said a forensic specialist examined hundreds of files after obtaining a search warrant for the man's computers to discover evidence against him. With more victims coming forward and the man already facing 12 charges based on six victims, he could be looking at serious consequences.

According to California Penal Code 647, a person who peeps into a person's house or uses video equipment to record a person undressing has committed disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor. It is punishable by more than a month in jail without the possibility of probation, in some instances.

But California Penal Code 502, the California Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act, is punishable by up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

These types of crimes are gaining more and more scrutiny as people's personal lives are being disrupted and sometimes exposed without their consent. So, not only are they charges that can call for jail time and fines and fees, but they also can ruin reputations, cost jobs and harm friendships. That's why it's important to fight the charges.

While some people feel the urge to explain the charges away, that typically won't work. Don't make any statements if you face these types of charges. Making a statement to detectives can only hurt your chances of beating the charge in court. And don't consent to a search of your property. Make police prove to a judge they have a right to search your home, computers, vehicle and property through a search warrant. If you are suspected of charges, call Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyers so we can advise you on your rights.

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Border Agent Charged with Sexual Assault in Santa Ana

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer has been charged with sexual assault in Santa Ana after a woman said he abused her inside his vehicle, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The defendant is suspected of assaulting the 20-year-old woman in November. He was arrested after his DNA was linked to a 2009 sexual assault in Long Beach. A Santa Ana criminal defense attorney should be called to handle these cases at the earliest possible stage -- even before criminal charges are filed. If a defendant has been approached by law enforcement, or has reason to believe he is under investigation, it's time to consult with an experienced defense attorney.
Felony convictions often require a defendant to submit a DNA sample to state and federal databases. The Combined DNA Indexing System (CODIS) continues to spit out matches years and sometimes decades after a crime.

The Mercury News reports the 29-year-old Fountain Valley defendant allegedly picked the woman up on a Santa Ana street and drove her to a cul de sac in Garden Grove, where he is accused of sexually assaulting her.

He is being held on $1 million bail.

A spokesman for Customs and Border Protection said the officer has been placed on administrative leave. The media did not report whether the defendant was on duty at the time of the alleged crime. More serious charges can result in cases in which a person of authority -- whether a coach, police officer of teacher -- uses that authority in the commission of a sex crime.

Those facing sex crime allegations should make no statements to police until speaking with an experienced defense attorney. Often, these cases hinge on the testimony of the defendant and the alleged victim. Any statement made to law enforcement may be used against you and may conflict with your ultimate defense strategy.

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