A priest in New Jersey has been charged with having sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl. The allegations come after a girl said she was consulting with the priest about personal problems in January. The girl said the priest kissed her, and engaged in sexual contact. The man is also charged with luring a child and endangering the welfare of a child.
When a person is in a very public role in their profession, they might face accusations frequently, and if the accusations are serious, their professional and personal lives could suffer severe consequences. Even if a person isn't convicted, they will likely face a lot of scrutiny by their community.
According to a report, the man is in the United States on a religious workers visa, and could face up to ten years in prison if he is convicted. In a case like this, a conviction could also jeopardize the person's visa, and might force them to leave the country after they serve a sentence.
While the man has not been convicted, it is important that people who are accused of serious crimes understand their rights and work to form a rigorous criminal defense. An experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney can help a person who is accused of a sex crime understand the criminal court process, and what they should or should not tell authorities. Police and investigators might try to ask a person questions without an attorney and try to get them to believe that the process will be easier if they share information. Any information they police obtain legally could be used to help convict the person.
Source: WABC, "New Jersey priest accused of sexual contact with 14-year-old parishioner," Carolina Leid, July 25, 2013