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Date Rape Charges Dropped Against Baltimore College Student

https://www.mdattorney.com/lawyer-attorney-1300820.htmlAs Baltimore Maryland Criminal Attorneys, we are often called upon to defend college students and other young people who are charged with what is commonly termed “date rape” allegations. These allegations invariably involve young women who are highly intoxicated on drugs or alcohol engaging in sexual activity that they later allege was non-consensual. The vast majority of these cases involve situations wherein the young woman involved became voluntarily intoxicated but we have seen several cases in which the so called “date rape drug” was found to be in the alleged victim’s system.

We have successfully defended a large number of these cases many of which having occurred on or around one of the numerous college campuses in the area. We recently defended an individual in just such as case and were able to have all charges against him dismissed prior to trial. This particular individual did not retain us until after he was charged which was a mistake on his part as we have successfully prevented many similarly situated individuals from ever being charged. Here are the facts of the case:

Our client was a 21 year old college student who was attending one of the local Universities. (I am going to leave out or change some minor details to protect both the client and the young women involved in this situation). One evening about 18 months ago he attended an off campus party at the apartment of a friend. Not surprisingly, alcohol was served at this party in large amounts. My client and most of the other party goers drank excessively and became intoxicated.

At some point late in the evening, a girl who was particularly drunk, spilled a drink all over herself. One of the residents decided she had obviously had enough at this point so he helped her change out of her clothes and put her to bed in his room. Some time later, our client determined that he was too intoxicated to drive and asked if he could spend the night at the apartment. Although it was late (actually, it was early in the morning) the party was still going on so the same guy who put the intoxicated young woman in his room, made a bed for the client on the floor.

According to our client, he woke up some time later with the naked young women sitting on top of him, kissing his neck. He tried to stop her momentarily as he knew she had a boyfriend but she told him that she had always wanted to be with him. At this point she unbuckled his pants and began to perform oral sex on him. At some point she retrieved a condom and they engaged in intercourse. Shortly thereafter someone came into the room and saw the two of them on the floor together along with a used condom and wrapper. The young woman put her head down and went back to sleep and our client was forced to leave the apartment. The police were then called and the condom was recovered.

The next morning the young woman claimed to have no recollection of the incident. The client wisely refused to be interviewed by the police but did not retain counsel at this point. The investigation proceeded for almost a year, primarily because it took that long to get the DNA results back on the condom. By now the client believed that the case was over and closed and was taken by complete surprise when he was arrested and charged with rape.

He was later indicted and only at this point did he seek out an attorney. As noted above, this was a serious mistake as we may have been able to prevent him from ever being charged in the first place as we have in many similar cases. The delay also hampered our ability to investigate the matter as some witnesses were no longer able to be located and others’ memories had faded, or at least they claimed that to be the case.

The primary allegation against the client was one of third degree sexual offense under the theory that the woman, by way of voluntary intoxication, was “mentally incapacitated” or “physically helpless” and that our client “knew” or “should have known” her to be in this helpless condition. We knew right away that the client’s defense would lie in his mental state given that the evidence that the young woman was intoxicated and that the two had engaged in intercourse was irrefutable. There were dozens of witnesses who had seen her in a obviously intoxicated state that evening and the two had been seen on the floor naked by two witnesses. The DNA results also confirmed the presence of both his and her DNA.

We immediately began our investigation by interviewing every witness we could find and otherwise gathering evidence that our client too was intoxicated at the time of the incident and was therefore not capable of determining that the young woman was incapacitated and therefore unable to consent to sexual activity. We also spoke to the detective as well as the prosecutor and found out that they both believed that our client had not in fact been intoxicated at the time of the incident and that is why they had chosen to proceed against him.

Ultimately, we were able to satisfy the prosecutor that our client was in fact intoxicated and that he therefore did not “know” that the young women was incapacitated and therefore unable to consent. All charges were dismissed against him and we are proceeding to expunge this entire matter from his record.

However, this case illustrates the important principal that if one is being investigated for a sexual offense or any other crime for that matter, that person should refuse to be interviewed by the police or anyone else and immediately retain counsel. This client was at least wise enough to not speak to the police. We have represented many others who would never have been charged had they not spoken to the police prior to retaining counsel. State and Federal investigators are highly trained interrogators and are quite adept at getting people to incriminate themselves often without the person even realizing that they have done so until it is too late.

Bottom Line: If you are being investigated by the police for a crime, politely refuse to speak to them and contact an experience criminal defense attorney.

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