Jury Convicts Elmhurst Man Of Sexually Abusing Preteen Girl Over A Five-Year Period
The story of this week’s case would still be horrific even if it were only an account of the allegations against the defendant. Physical acts of sexual abuse of children are traumatic enough in themselves, but there is much more to the victims’ ordeal than just the physical violence. The fear and emotional manipulation are just as bad. Abusers take advantage of children’s trust and susceptibility to intimidation to make them feel they are to blame for the abuse or that telling a parent or other trusted person would be dangerous or cruel. Thus, abusers can often persuade victims to keep the abuse a secret for years from their parents, siblings, friends, and anyone else who truly has the child’s best interest in mind. Adults who persuade children to fabricate stories about sexual abuse are far fewer than adults who persuade child victims to lie and say that nothing happened. All defendants are innocent until proven guilty and have the right to a fair trial, so if you have been falsely accused, you have the right to tell your side of the story, and a Pittsburgh sex crimes defense lawyer can help you establish reasonable doubt about your guilt.
How Is It Possible to Be Sentenced to 400 Years in Prison?
While courts have the right to hand down sentences of hundreds of years, the longest amount of time a person is capable of spending in prison is the rest of the person’s life. Only the most heinous crimes, usually those that involve killing, have life in prison as a possible punishment. If someone gets convicted of several counts of a crime, the judge could order them to serve the sentences consecutively, meaning that 20 sentences of 20 years each would mean 400 years in prison. In practice, judges sometimes order convicted defendants to serve their sentences concurrently (meaning at the same time), and many defendants sentenced to prison become eligible for parole during their sentences.
In the News
At Francis Collin Vetter’s trial, the teen victim testified that Vetter began grooming her for sexual abuse when she was seven, by showing her pornographic videos on his phone. When she was nine, he began raping her every few weeks until she was twelve, when she told her mother about the abuse. During the abuse and subsequent investigation, Vetter coerced the victim to write two letters declaring his innocence. He also asked a boy the victim’s age to record a conversation with the victim in which the boy would ask her questions that would lead her to say that Vetter did not abuse her. On June 18, jury convicted Vetter of 240 offenses, from child rape to obstruction of justice. He has yet to be sentenced, but he could face up to 40 years in prison.
Contact an Attorney Today for Help
A Pittsburgh sex crimes lawyer can help you if you have been accused of sexual assault or other sex-related offenses. Contact the law offices of Gary E. Gerson for help with your case.