Sexual Abuse & Harassment
Des Moines Sexual Assault Lawyer
Sexual abuse crimes are terrible, with a lifelong effect on the victim and those close to them. But that doesn’t mean everyone accused of these crimes is guilty. The possibility of an innocent person losing their reputation, and perhaps their freedom can only compound a genuine tragedy. That’s why it’s imperative that defendants put a Des Moines sexual assault lawyer in their corner who will believe in them and fight for their rights.
The Definition of Sexual Abuse in Iowa
Section of 709 of the Iowa criminal code deals with sexual abuse crimes. The definition generally applies to any allegation that involves a sex act performed by an unconsenting victim. This can include cases where the victim is considered unable to give consent by being underage, mentally disabled, or intoxicated.
Sexual abuse includes crimes such as rape and sexual assault, which are felonies, and it includes indecent exposure, which is generally treated as a misdemeanor.
Penalties for Sexual Assault
Assault charges will likely be felonies, and Iowa law has three different classifications…
- A Class A felony is at the top of the ladder and conviction on these charges can result in a life prison sentence. Sexual assault may be considered Class A if there was serious injury done to the victim .
- A Class B felony has a max sentence of 25 years behind bars. It is applied when the assault was performed with the threat of force, even if that force was not carried out.
- And while a Class C felony might the lowest a District Attorney would bring, it can still put someone in jail for ten years and see them fined as much as $13,660 (+$2,049 surcharge). It covers most any other act of assault, including those involving minors or when the victim is believed to have been deliberately drugged.
The jail sentence is steep, but the sentence is still just beginning when a convicted defendant can finally leave the prison. They will be required to register in Iowa’s Sex Offender Registry. Those convicted of felony assault will stay registered for life. Even a misdemeanor conviction will mean 10 years on the registry.
Being on the registry can make rebuilding one’s life all the more difficult. It is something that is available for everyone to see, from potential employers, landlords, even neighbors.
The consequences are serious, but there is hope. Attorney Nicholas Lombardi is committed to vigorously investigating your case and giving you advice on the right defense strategy. Call today at (515) 206-8366 or fill out our online contact form to arrange for a free consultation.
How to Fight Sexual Assault Charges
A person accused of sexual assault might be presumed guilty by people in their community. They may even be turned on by their own family members and others they thought they could trust. They have to know that their Des Moines sexual assault attorney will fight with every tool in the legal toolbox.
That starts with the most basic premise of criminal law in America—that defendants are considered innocent unless proven otherwise. The court of public opinion might rush to judgment, but a court of law cannot. A vigorous lawyer will go all-out to ensure a jury understands that.
Furthermore, our attorney will also work diligently to present the jury with reasons to doubt the prosecution’s case. Another premise of criminal law is that guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. A jury cannot be 51 percent sure of guilt. They must be somewhere close to 100 percent.
The advance of science can be beneficial for defendants. DNA evidence can prove if a person was (or was not) at the scene of a crime. There are other cases where a defendant may have been at the scene, but the encounter was consensual. In a he-said, she-said situation, the burden of proof is with the prosecution. A Des Moines sexual assault lawyer might bring forth character witnesses to testify on behalf of the defendant.
Every case is different, and the best defense will depend on the unique circumstances of each one. That’s why defendants need a lawyer who will spend more time listening to them and studying the evidence, rather than pre-judging the case.
Attorney Nicholas Lombardi is someone who has worked his way up in law the hard way. In his background, he’s seen friends go to prison. He knows the system is far from perfect. He started The Nicholas Lombardi Law Firm so defendants could have counsel they could easily get in touch with, and that they could trust.
“Have nothing but great things to say about him. Works hard and is very good at what he does. Would recommend him to anyone!” - Cody T.
“He answered the few texts I made when I had questions and he promptly responded every time no matter the time of day or what day.” - Bo T.
“He will go to the ends of the earth for you and I can attest even after your case is closed, he will not just leave.” - Devin G.