Articles Posted in Sex Crimes

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In a case decide today, in L.L., a Juvenile v. Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rules on the standard a juvenile court judge determines the risk of re-offense on the part of a juvenile who committed a ‘sex offense’ that imposes the requirement of sex offender registration.  The SJC ruled that, even as it pertains to juvenile offenders, it is within the judge’s discretion to determine whether the juvenile offender should or should not be relieved of the obligation to register as a sex offender.

In this case, the juvenile was charged in Essex County Juvenile Court as a result of allegations that occurred in Lynn, Massachusetts.  The juvenile was charged with two counts of Indecent Assault & Battery on a Person.  The charges arose from allegations that the juvenile, who was 16 at the time, went up to an adult woman from behind; pulled down her pants; and then made inappropriate comments about her private area while also grabbing his genitals.  A week after this incident, the juvenile did something very similar to a second woman. Continue reading →

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In a recent appeal concerning a sexual assault case, he Massachusetts Appeals Court considered whether the purported ‘first complaint testimony’ must be remembered by the complainant in order to be admissible against a defendant at trial.

In Commonwealth v. Dale, the defendant appealed from his conviction of indecent assault & battery on a child under 14, arguing that the trial judge improperly admitted ‘first complaint testimony’ by the brother of the victim, who was 7 or 8 at the time of the incident. At trial, the brother testified that, at the time of the incident, the complainant had reported the abuse to him; but the complainant could not recall herself that she had, in fact, reported the abuse to her brother.

In Massachusetts, the first complaint doctrine permits a judge to admit testimony from the recipient of a victim’s initial report of sexual assault. The ‘first complaint witness’, i.e., the person to whom the sexual assault was first reported to, may also testify to the circumstances surrounding the complaint, including observations of the complainant; the events or conversation that culminated; the timing of the complaint; and other relevant conditions that might help the jury assess the truthfulness of the complainant as to the allegations of sexual abuse.

The Massachusetts Appeals Court rule that, in assessing whether the first complaint testimony is admissible at trial, it is not necessary that the complainant remember what, or if anything at all, was said. The court reasoned that the complainant’s lack of memory goes “to the weight of the evidence, not to its admissibility”.

The court specifically held that the first complaint doctrine balances the interests of a complainant, such as a child in this case, in having her credibility fairly judged on the specific facts of a case rather than unfairly judged by stereotypical thinking; with that of a defendant. This doctrine aims to provide the jury with all the information in order for them to assess the credibility of the complainant.

In other words, the Appeals Court ruled that, whether or not the complainant actually remembers relaying the circumstances of the abuse to another, the statements are still admissible. Whether or not the complainant remembers the conversation can be argued by the defendant to challenge the credibility of the complainant and the accuracy of the allegations.

In this particular case, it appears that the overwhelming reason why the court reached this decision is because the complainant here was a child at the time of the abuse. One view in the legal community is that child victims of sexual assault tend to block out the event so that their ability to remember and recall the circumstances at a later age is not out of the ordinary. On the other hand, many legal professional believe that children often tend to embellish, exaggerate or even fabricate sexual assault allegations for a variety of reasons. The Appeals Court here may have sought to balance these two views from their reasoning in this case.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges and Criminal Appeals. Click Here to Schedule a Confidential Consultation or call 617-325-9500.

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A Boston man was charged this past week with various Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges involving the alleged sexual assault of a woman in Provincetown on Cape Cod.

The defendant was charged in Orleans District Court with Rape, Indecent Assault & Battery and Distribution of Drugs.

Rape in Massachusetts is defined as the natural or unnatural sexual intercourse with another person by force and against that person’s will, and is punishable by up to 20 years in state prison.

A rape conviction carries other several collateral penalties as well, including Sex Offender Registration and the possibility of lifetime community parole and/or commitment as a sexually dangerous person.

The success of a defendant’s defense when charged with any crimes of alleged sexual assault can depend on a number of factors, including whether there were any witnesses; the credibility of the complainant; the results of a SANE exam or an evidence collection kit; and the existence of any forensic evidence, such as DNA.

Not all rape charges result from “forced” sexual conduct. In many cases, there may be a defense of consent or even a defense of mistaken identification.

Unlike other ‘average’ crimes, rape cases often involve intricate legal and scientific issues, including an understanding of forensic evidence and other issues, such as first complaint testimony; prior sexual acts of the complainant; and cases involving late disclosure or child victims.

For those reasons, a person charged with any sex crimes should take great care with choosing the right criminal defense attorney and consider someone who has experience in defending sex crimes.

Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis has extensive experience in defending persons charged with various Massachusetts Sex Crimes, including Rape, and is available 24/7 for consultation.

To schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Contact a Massachusetts Sex Crimes Lawyer or call 617-325-9500.

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A Lynn priest was arraigned in Lynn District Court on various Massachusetts Sexual Assault Charges for allegedly sexually molesting over several years.

The defendant, Daniel Lopez, was a priest at the Vida Real Internacional Congregation in Lynn. The Essex County District Attorney’s Office alleges that between 2004 and 2008, he sexually assaulted several children who were younger than 9 years old. During that time, he is also alleged to have raped one of those children.

The defendant was arraigned in Lynn District Court and charged with several counts of Indecent Assault & Battery on a Child Under 14 and Rape of a Child by Force.

The Massachusetts Sex Crime of Rape of a Child is the sexual intercourse with a child under 16 where the child is compelled to engage in such acts by force. A conviction for this sex offense would subject a defendant convicted of this crime to Sex Offender Registration; require that he submit his DNA to the state’s DNA database; possible community parole supervision for life; and could also serve as a predicate offense for civil commitment as a “sexually dangerous person”.

A conviction to Rape of a Child by Force carries a potential prison sentence of any term of years up to life.

Boston Criminal Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis has successfully represented persons charged with various Massachusetts Sex Crimes, and is available 24/7 for consultation.

To schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Contact a Massachusetts Sex Crimes Lawyer or call 617-325-9500.

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A 19 year old Framingham man was arrested on various Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges for allegedly raping a 15 year old girl after she got off the school bus.

The defendant was charged with Aggravated Rape of a Child, Indecent Assault & Battery and Kidnapping.

According to the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office, the defendant allegedly accosted the girl after she got off the school bus and forcibly led her into the woods at knifepoint where he raped her. Prosecutors do not believe that the girl knew the defendant and that the incident appeared to be a random attack.

The Massachusetts sex crime of Rape of a Child is the act of compelling a child under 16 by force or against his/her will to engage in sexual intercourse, and is punishable by commitment to state prison for any term of years up to life.

In addition to a lengthy prison sentence, a conviction of Rape of a Child, as with other sex offenses, would require the defendant to register as a sex offender and submit his DNA to the state’s DNA database.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis has handled several cases involving Massachusetts Sex Crimes, including rape and indecent assault & battery, and is available 24/7 for consultation.

To schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Contact a Massachusetts Sex Crimes Lawyer or call 617-325-9500.

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A Braintree karate instructor was arrested by the Braintree Police Department this past weekend on Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges involving one of his students.

The instructor was arraigned in Quincy District Court on charges including Indecent Assault & Battery on a Child Under 14.

According to the Braintree Police Department and the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office, the karate instructor was giving a 10 year old girl a private lesson when it is alleged that he pulled down her pants. The incident is alleged to have occurred in December.

The karate instructor was arrested by the Braintree Police Department after he reportedly went to the police station voluntarily this past Saturday to speak with detectives.

Defending allegations of this sort is obviously very sensitive, particularly where a young child is involved and where there is likely no other evidence other than the word of the complainant. Although it is our human nature to immediately believe a child victim who reports allegations of this type, numerous studies have suggested that, in many cases, children who report sex crimes either fabricate, exacerbate or misinterpret the purported criminal conduct.

The Massachusetts Sex Crime of Indecent Assault and Battery on a Child Under 14 is a felony punishable by up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections or up to 10 years in state prison. As with most sex crimes, a conviction for this offense would require the defendant to register as a sex offender and submit his DNA to the state’s DNA database.

Given the sensitive nature and extreme consequences involving Massachusetts sex crimes allegations, anyone charged with such crimes should immediately consult with a criminal defense attorney who has particular experience in defending these types of cases.

Boston Criminal Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis has successfully defended various Massachusetts Sex Crimes allegations and is available 24/7 for consultation.

Click Here to Request a Free Consultation with a Massachusetts Sex Crimes Lawyer or call 617-325-9500.

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A city of Lawrence Police Officer was recently arrested on Sex Crimes Charges arising out of an incident in Florida.

Lawrence Police Officer Carlos Gonzalez was arrested last week by Andover Police while attending classes at the Massachusetts School of Law on sex crimes allegations that he committed a sexual assault on a child between the ages of 12 and 18; and serving alcohol to a person under 21.

Detectives from Florida traveled to Massachusetts to issue the arrest warrant on the Lawrence police officer. He was arraigned in Lawrence District Court on a fugitive from justice warrant.

A conviction for most sex crimes will have everlasting and life altering consequences. Even if a defendant can escape jail time from a sex offense conviction, he would not be able to escape the Sex Offender Registration requirements.

There are 3 levels of sex offender classification: Level 1, considered low risk to re-offend and for which there is no dissemination to the public; Level 2, considered to be a moderate risk to re-offend and for which there may be some dissemination to the public; and Level 3, considered to pose a high risk to re-offend and for which there is extensive dissemination to the public.

How long a person convicted of a sex offense would have to continue to register depends on a number of factors, but generally, those convicted of a single sex offense and most juveniles will typically be required to register for 20 years from the date of conviction or release from custody.

A sex offender may apply for termination of the registration requirements 10 years from teh date of conviction or release from custody, but must prove, by clear and convincing evidence, that he/she has not committed any new sex offenses and is not likely to pose a danger to the community.

Those persons who have 2 or more sex offense convictions, however, or those that are considered to be ‘sexually violent predators’, would likely be subject to lifetime registration.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis has successfully defended persons charged with Massachusetts Sex Crimes and is available 24/7 for consultation.

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A Malden teenager has been arrested and charged with Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges for allegedly sexually assault a young child.

The teenager, Robert Guevara, 18, was arrested by the Malden Police Department last week on two counts of Aggravated Rape.

According to the Malden Police Department and the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office, the defendant allegedly sexually assaulted the child on various dates between February 2011 and December 2012. Malden Police allege that the teen had access to the child when his mother was entrusted with babysitting the child.

Following his arraignment in Malden District Court, the defendant was ordered held on $100,000 bail with strict conditions should that be posted.

The Massachusetts Sex Crime of Aggravated Rape is defined as rape with the additional element that the acts resulted in serious bodily injury or were committed during the commission or attempted commission of another crime.

The potential penalty upon conviction for Aggravated Rape is imprisonment to state prison for any term of years up to life. A conviction for this sex crime would also require the person to Sex Offender Registration; submit his DNA to the Massachusetts DNA Database; and could subject him to a term of community parole supervision for life.

In many cases involving allegations of rape of child, there are several issues that should be explored in the defendant’s defense, including the medical records and examinations of any (or lack thereof) physical abuse/damage, as well as the veracity of the purported victim’s allegations.

Some studies that have been conducted, for example, suggest that purported child victims of rape are, for whatever reason, inclined to fabricate or at least embellish the accounts. Children are also more susceptible to influence, and so the police interview process (which is usually video recorded for this reason) should be scrutinized very carefully for any such undue influence.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis has successfully defended persons charged with various Massachusetts Sex Crimes, including Rape, and is available 24/7 for consultation.

To schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Contact a Massachusetts Sex Crimes Lawyer or call 617-325-9500.

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Boston Police arrested a Dorchester man earlier this week for Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges.

The defendant, who was arraigned in the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court, was arraigned on sex crimes charges including Human Trafficking for Sexual Servitude and Deriving Support from a Prostitute.

According to the Boston Police Department and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, police stopped a car for routine civil motor vehicle infractions. A woman passenger in the car who appeared to police to be nervous, was questioned and told police that she had been subjected to prostitution by the defendant. According to the woman, she was forced to buy clothes and take photographs that were posted on various websites advertising escort services.

The defendant, who was held on $75,000 bail, was also reportedly a Level 3 Sex Offender who was previously convicted of Aggravated Rape Charges involving two women when he was 17.

The Massachusetts Sex Crime of Human Trafficking for Sexual Servitude is the act of knowingly subjecting, by any means, another person to engage in commercial sexual activity, sexually explicit performance, or for the production of unlawful pornography.

A conviction for the sex crime of Human Trafficking for Sexual Servitude is punishable by commitment to state prison for not less than 5 years and up to 20 years; and also subjects the defendant to Sex Offender Registration.

Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis has experience in defending persons charged with various Massachusetts Sex Crimes, including Rape, Deriving Support from a Prostitute, and Human Trafficking for Sexual Servitude; and is available 24/7 for consultation.

Click Here to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Massachusetts Sex Crimes Lawyer or call 617-325-9500.

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A 49 year old Wakefield man was arrested earlier this month on 100 counts of Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges for allegedly raping and sexually abusing 13 children ranging in age from 8 days to 3.5 years old.

The defendant, identified as John Burbine, was charged with several sex offenses including Aggravated Rape of a Child, Indecent Assault & Battery on a Child, Unlawful Possession of Child Pornography; and Dissemination of Obscene Material.

According to the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office, the defendant had access to the child victims through the Waterfall Education Center, a child care center that was reportedly run by his wife, Marian Burbine. Middlesex County prosecutors have alleged that the defendant helped his wife at the daycare used that position to sexually abuse the children at the daycare center, which was allegedly not licensed.

Following his arrest on these sex crimes charges, police allegedly seized evidence that the defendant videotaped himself raping and sexually abusing the victims. After his arraignment in Malden District Court, the defendant was held without bail under the Massachusetts Dangerousness statute.

The defendant’s wife, Marian Burbine, was also charged in connection with this incident with Reckless Endangerment of a Child.

Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is committed to ensuring that his clients are afforded the absolute best representation on all criminal charges, including Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges such as Aggravated Rape and Indecent Assault & Battery, and is available 24/7 for consultation.

Click Here to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Boston Criminal Lawyer or call 617-325-9500.