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Antonio Smith Not Getting Charged

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  • #16
    Originally posted by one_bad_55 View Post
    BL115, You know more about this than most. Is this common for this to take this long without any charges being filed? I would think that if these were a possibility that they would want to get charges filed and get this guy behind bars.

    Do these cases always take this long?
    Great question One_Bad. It depends on the case. I'm sure that doesn't satisfy you but here's why. When you have a case of child "sexual abuse" (I put it in quotes because the only charge said it was of a sexual nature, which doesn't really tell us anything really), you naturally have a child witness. Child witnesses are very difficult to work with for several reasons....

    1. We first need to know the age of the child...because that can slow down the process. If it's a child 10 and under, the DA or investigative agent needs to find out if the child knows the difference between a truth and a lie.

    2. They need to know if the child can describe the incident and in that description, are they stating words that rise to the level of sexual abuse. Usually in child abuse cases they have someone other than a police officer or the DA try to establish rapport and trust so they aren't afraid to tell. Then if they have that, they will use anatomically correct dolls to assist the child in helping to describe where on the body they were "hurt." Sometimes because younger children don't have the language to describe events, it can get muddy or difficult to get the entire story.

    3. Then they need to know if the child can continue to recall the incident in the same way as they described it initially. There can be issues of inconsistencies in the retelling, recanting, not remembering, etc. So that may delay the case too.

    4. The other factor is fear - they need to be able to work around and figure out whether any threats were implied in the telling. If you tell then x will happen. Or it's our secret and I'll go to jail if you tell. That kind of thing.

    Because more often than not children have a relationship with the person who molested them, getting them to tell the story in the first place is devastating and they fear that the relationship will end, they fear that they did something wrong. They often blame themselves. They may feel that they participated in it, because the perpetrator may have made them feel special, spent time with them, gave them presents and gifts, took them to special places. So after they initially told, they may get fearful of ruining that relationship and change the story, recant, or not want to go through with it.

    Please know that I am not saying these dynamics occurred in this case because we don't have any background into this case at all. I'm just laying out the typical dynamics of child sexual abuse cases in general and the impact on the child and how and why it might drag out for so long.

    Also, unlike rape or other forms of sexual abuse, if there was no penetration it is extremely rare to find physical evidence of sexual abuse in a child unless the child begins to show outward physical signs like ******l infections, discharge, etc. The more usual case is that the child begins to show emotional and behavioral indicators instead, like crying, fear of being with the person, bed wetting, self harm, nightmares, etc.

    So, all that to say, it depends on what kind of abuse, the age of the child, the relationship of the child and the perpetrator, whether there was penetration, how long it went on, whether threats were involved, etc.

    Edit:

    The other reasons it takes long is the normal investigative process. They are going to interview the child's teachers, friends, school nurse, doctor, gather medical records, mother, family members, etc. too. That takes a long time as well. When it is a family member, families may close ranks. That makes it extremely hard to gather all the facts too.

    While we always want to have sexual predators off the street, they need to be sure that what occurred, occurred. They need to be as accurate and thorough as possible before jumping the gun. Sexual assault cases in general are hard to investigate. Child sexual abuse cases are the hardest and take the longest unless you have DNA evidence off the bat, which is rare.
    Last edited by broncoslover115; 07-30-2015, 07:04 PM.
    Adopted Bronco: DeMarcus Ware

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    • #17
      Thank you for explaining that for me. It makes sense that with children it is even more of a challenge to make sure the incident did actually occur. I guess that it is best they take their time and do their due diligence to make sure they get things right. Obviously if you were innocent and were convicted of something like this it would ruin your life.
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      2016 Adopted Bronco - Derek Wolfe
      2014 Adopted Bronco - DeMarcus Ware - 2015 Adopted Bronco - Von Miller

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      • #18
        Originally posted by one_bad_55 View Post
        Thank you for explaining that for me. It makes sense that with children it is even more of a challenge to make sure the incident did actually occur. I guess that it is best they take their time and do their due diligence to make sure they get things right. Obviously if you were innocent and were convicted of something like this it would ruin your life.
        I really appreciate you asking.

        Yup, child sexual abuse cases are extremely difficult and as you can see in my post above are incredibly complex and a great deal of dynamics come into play which can prolong the investigative process. If a case has merit, they also have to figure out the charge too and see if it rises to the level of sexual assault.

        Most lay people don't realize this but one can be charged with some kind of sexual molestation even if a perpetrator touched a child over the clothes. It depends on where and how. Additionally, it could even be something like indecent exposure. So one can even be charged with some kind of sex crime without ever touching anyone. This is why getting the story itself and all the details are crucial. The story and the details determine the charge.

        Very complicated indeed.
        Adopted Bronco: DeMarcus Ware

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        • #19
          Sensational rumors probably make legitimate reporters feel the heat to compete. Legit reporters compete to get legit scoops, but professional reporters are under a higher standard than you or I.

          That's the thing about the online world, anyone can say anything.We post as we please. Usually it's only an opinion and we must all realize if we post something it must be taken with a grain of sodium.

          Although I did hear Elway is a cross dresser!

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