When an educator is charged with sexual assault involving one 16-year-old student, the defense attorney will conduct a thorough investigation of the facts to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the case. Such cases are not by any means cut and dried nor are they always subject to an automatic guilty plea. There are occasionally factual situations in which the accused teacher may have a true defense to sexual assault charges under Arkansas law.
The recent arrest occurred in Maumelle where a warrant was issued against the band director at Maumelle High School. He turned himself in and was charged with second-degree sexual assault in connection with allegations dating back to Sept. 2013, involving a 16-year-old student. It is alleged that the inappropriate contact continued into 2016.
The nature and details of that alleged contact have not been reported by authorities. Apparently, the allegations were called into the Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Hotline by a parent not related to the alleged victim. Presumably, the alleged victim verified the charges. However, that is not confirmed, and the prosecution could have a difficult case without the testimony of the alleged victim or other eyewitnesses. A sexual assault criminal prosecution would be extremely difficult to prove if based primarily on hearsay evidence.
In sexual assault and abuse cases in Arkansas, it is always necessary to determine the facts and the history of the case in great detail. Some facts may go to constructing a legal defense that may defeat the charges. Some facts, on the other hand, may be extremely helpful as mitigating circumstances if a plea agreement is the strategy most effective in the case. In all situations, the strategy adopted must be the result of a cooperative effort by the accused and his defense counsel after analysis of the facts and circumstances of the case.
Source: arkansasmatters.com, “Arrest Warrant Issued for Band Director in Sexual Assault Case”, Hilary Hunt, May 18, 2016