Anytime a criminal defense lawyer gets a police report and sees that his client allegedly confessed to a crime a red flag goes up. Was the confession made voluntarily? Was it recorded? How long did the interrogation last? What promises or inducements did the police make that prompted the defendant to tell them what they wanted to hear? Was the accused impaired by alcohol or drugs? Finally, does the defendant speak English and if not was an interpreter present for the interrogation. This post examines one of my recent cases where the defendant supposedly confessed to a rape and our approach to challenging criminal confessions in Massachusetts.
In an effort to address college rape and sexual assault claims the California legislature is honing in on some new laws focusing on consent. The law if passed will require that on all college campuses run by the state consent must be verbalized or written and obviously given in advance of the sexual activity. Consent cannot be assumed. While the details of the law are being debated it is agreed that “lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silent mean consent”. Reading this law makes me wonder how long it will take before Massachusetts tries to tackle this issue. Continue reading →
I have a large number of clients who got to me through my website and one of my blogs. All of these properties make reference to remaining silent. I have posted countless times about the dangers of meeting with the police without having consulted with a lawyer. I have posted about this in social media. Every day I read at least one Google Plus post about someone who decided to meet with the cops rather than consult with a lawyer. Every time I read about this or hear about it one thing sticks out. The person who talked to the cops got charged with a crime and never would have had he remained silent. And again today, someone called me telling me that the police called them asking “me to go to the station to tell my side of the story”. My advise was simple don’t do it.
Very few criminal acts are considered more hideous than rape. This crime is commonly defined as non-consensual forcible sexual intercourse. The element of force is required in every rape case. Force must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. However, there is no requirement that the district attorney prosecuting one of these cases show that the complainant was beaten or held down. There is no requirement for the district attorney to show actual force in the commission of this act. The force necessary to prove a rape need not be physical. Constructive force satisfies the prosecutor’s if proven beyond a reasonable doubt. This post discusses a common defense to some rape cases focusing on the issue of consent.
Yesterday I received a call from a client. He told me that the police in a certain suburban Boston, Massachusetts town wanted to talk to him about a sexual assault. When pressed he learned that the allegations were hideous – rape of a child. He had absolutely no idea what the police were talking about. He wanted to talk to them and I told him not to under any circumstances. Fortunately the man took my advice. With a little digging we learned more about the allegations. The man is married. He recently caught his wife cheating on him. They have three children together. She applied for a restraining order against him. It was not granted. Consequently she called the police and told them that she had been having sex with him since before her sixteenth birthday. This post articulates reasons why I tell all clients never to talk to the cops. Continue reading →
Local news outlets are reporting that a fifty-six year old Connecticut man has been arrested and charged with child enticement in Massachusetts federal court. The complaint alleges that Paul Hinkel tried to entice a minor into having sex with him. Hinkel responded to a Craigslist post generated by undercover federal agents. The listing directed interested parties to an email address. Email exchanges between Hinkel and someone posing as the minor’s mother disclosed negotiations and plans for completing the act. When the Hinkel arrived at the meeting location he was met by federal agents and arrested. Continue reading →
Browsing the Internet today I saw a story about a twenty two year old man being charged with statutory rape in Massachusetts. The man, Matthew Pos was arrested out of state and is being held pending a rendition hearing. Rendition is the process of one state sending a suspect in a criminal case to the state where the criminal charge is pending. All states have some sort of rendition law. Some people refer to this process as extradition. This post provides a synopsis of how rendition laws work and when they should be challenged or waived. Continue reading →
If you are wondering just how prevalent prostitution cases are in Massachusetts just open you local newspaper. At least once a week you can read about a local prostitution sting. If you want more detail just perform some basic Internet searches such as “prostitution arrest” in “your town”. You will quickly learn that the world’s oldest profession is conducted everywhere. No longer is prostitution simply associated with street hookers parading down the red light districts of major cities. Now, sex is advertised and sold in every town. Just go to Craigslist or Backpage and search for dates or massage services. Manicures and nail services are often code for sexual services as well. Recently, law enforcement has been focusing on flushing out the demand for sex rather than the supply. They do this through “stings”, the subject of this post. Continue reading →
We have all heard the expression innocent until proven guilty. We all know that the proof is on the district attorney to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime charged. We are familiar with those historic words “cloaked with the presumption of innocence”. Yet any time someone is charged with the crime of rape of a child people run and hide from those constitutional protections and principles. Opinions are immediately formed. The defendant is now a pariah. Even judges overlook those bedrock ideologies. The only person someone this position can count on is his criminal defense lawyer.
In almost every case involving child pornography prosecutors in Massachusetts are faced with what should be a difficult decision: to charge possession of child pornography or to charge distribution of child pornography. Let’s look at some common facts. Rarely, if ever is a defendant caught with one image or a few images. This is because child pornographic materials are accessed through file share programs. The files that people receive though peer to peer networks usually contain scores if not hundreds of images. Under Massachusetts law this permits the prosecution to charge the more severe felony, distribution of child pornography. And usually, the prosecution does just that, it charges distribution. However the charge of possession, a lesser included felony is typically charged as well. This post examines why that is done and some thoughts on defending these cases.