New Jersey residents may have been following the story of a former Baltimore Ravens cheerleader who was convicted of raping a 15-year-old boy. A judge recently ordered her to spend every other weekend for the next two years in a work-release facility. She was also ordered to pay $10,650 to the family and to register as a sex offender. In June, the 48-year-old woman pled guilty to a count of fourth-degree rape, which could have seen her spend up to 15 years in prison.
According to authorities, the woman knew the boy because he was her son's friend. They first connected over social media before meeting in person. She was originally taken into custody in November 2014 on charges of giving alcohol to minors, unlawful sexual contact and third-degree rape. Although a plea deal reduced the charges to the single charge that she pled guilty to, the minor's parents asked for more than just probation time.
In a statement to the judge during sentencing, the victim's mother said that what she did was heinous and that anyone who does that to a child should put in prison. The deputy attorney general in Delaware also pressed for more than just probation as the law does not take gender into account when determining a sentence.
Those who are charged with sex crimes may wish to talk to a criminal defense attorney. An attorney may be able to help cast doubt on the evidence against an individual or create other defenses that may be used in court. For instance, it may be possible to argue that the contact was consensual or that a witness provided unreliable testimony in court about the event. That may be enough to have the charge dropped or to arrange for a plea bargain in the case.
Source: USA today, "Ex-Ravens cheerleader sentenced for rape of 15-year-old boy", James Fisher, Aug. 21, 2015