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Teaching assistant charged with sexual assault on student

A report by a female student in an Arkansas junior high school has resulted in the arrest of a teaching assistant on sex charges. The Cabot Police Department has charged a 23-year-old female paraprofessional with felony sexual assault against the junior high school girl. The details of the alleged assault have not been reported.

The Cabot Police reportedly interviewed the alleged victim first at the police department. After that interview, they brought in the defendant for questioning. They reportedly then arrested the defendant and charged her with the sex crime. In an action that may be a bit of overkill under the circumstances, the defendant, who enjoys the presumption of innocence, is being held on a "no bond hold" in the Cabot Police Department Jail.

She will appear in the Lonoke County Circuit Court on Friday. By that time, she will presumably have obtained counsel and be better equipped to get bail and begin to organize a defense. It appears that the defendant did not have an attorney during the critical initial interview with the police. It is highly advisable for a suspect to have counsel and to consult with counsel before she makes statements or subjects herself to a grilling.

Defense counsel will typically begin by obtaining a detailed scenario of the facts and events that occurred, both from the defendant and any other sources that may be available. In such situations, it's not uncommon to find a victim in that age range who may have exaggerated or even misperceived the events that occurred.  Additionally, victims in such circumstances have been known to fabricate a version of events in satisfaction of a range of ulterior motives.

Additionally, in Arkansas, the defendant has the protection of federal and state constitutional mandates. If she was pressured to give statements against her will, or gave an involuntary confession without the aid of counsel, a motion for suppression of the statements may be filed and argued by her counsel. Therefore, counsel will typically investigate and evaluate numerous avenues while engaging in the process of formulating the strongest defense possible to the sexual assault charges.

Source: katv.com, "Cabot school employee arrested for inappropriate contact with st", Sarah Chaffin, Oct. 16, 2014

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