Maryland teacher acquitted of sex abuse but suffers lifetime consequences

Anyone can be accused of a crime - a doctor, lawyer or teacher. Criminal accusations are directed at all types of people. Fortunately, an accused person can be tried in an adversarial setting if he or she contests any charges.

However, while our criminal justice system relies on the presumption of innocence and a defendant may be found not guilty of a crime, depending on the accusation, one could face dire consequences regardless of a trial's ultimate verdict.

In November 2012, a teacher of Germantown, Maryland, was acquitted of sexual charges after a weeklong trial. Specifically, the teacher was accused of sexual abuse of a child and two counts of third-degree sexual offense.

The case began when a former student of a local Germantown school alleged that the teacher fondled him. The suspect was a 51-year-old man who taught seventh grade English. The teacher has been an educator for more than two decades.

According to the accuser, the teacher had touched him inappropriately in 2011, during the teen's seventh and eighth grade years. During the trial, state prosecutors alleged that the former teacher used his reputation as a respected teacher to "groom" potential victims. Furthermore, the accuser was characterized as "the perfect victim" at the hearing.

According to the defendant's lawyer, the state attempted to build a case around a flawed police investigation. Although the jury took less than two hours to render a verdict of not guilty, the damage had already been done. During the course of bringing the unfounded accusations and putting the teacher through a trial, the prosecution irreversibly tarnished his reputation.

Acquitted of a sex crime

A person who is acquitted of a sex crime undoubtedly suffers serious harm to his or her reputation. Even when the accusations are proven false, people often associate the accused with the crime. That means that the falsely accused person may have lifetime repercussions all because of a lie.

Beyond the financial consequences of retaining a lawyer and defending a case, the accused misses work, and in some cases, loses his or her job. In the aforementioned case, the acquitted man was on paid leave during the investigation and trial. Since the February 2012 allegations, the man had not been permitted to work at the school.

If you have been accused of a sex crime, you should ensure that you have the support of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. While you may face a difficult trial ahead, a lawyer can help ensure that your future is not compromised.