What to do if charged with rape by avictim with a history of mental problems?

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What to do if charged with rape by avictim with a history of mental problems?

There is a 19 year-old young man who had sexual intercourse with a 16 year-old. The girl said no once but then went through with the act with full consent and willingness. The young man is in jail held on rape in the first degree and already stated he had sex – with consent. The young man does not have a record however the girl has accuseda different individual within last year for rape and has had a history of mental illness, and at one point was placed in a mental facility. A bond was placed for $100,000 which he was unable to post. The young man has a 16 month-old daughter and has not spoken with any legal defense for himself. What can be done for him? Does he need to consult with a criminal law attorney? In Trumbull County, OH.

Asked on October 16, 2010 under Criminal Law, Ohio

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First of all, this young man needs to seek legal advice ASAP.  Until he does, he should make no statements to the police.  This is a serious charge and carries a heavy penalty.  In light of the circumstances a skilled defense attorney may well be able to get the charged dismissed or at least reduced.  If money is an issue, see if he qualifies for representation by the public defender or legal aid or see if they can recommend someone to help him.  Also, check if there is a law school nearby to where the arrest took place; they typically run free/low cost clinics that might handle this type of case.  Additionally, have him contact the local Bar Association in the county where the proceedings are being held; they may have a list of attorneys who will take his case "pro bono" (for free) or at least for a reduced fee based on his income/circumstances.


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