It can be difficult to remember in some cases that people who have been accused of crimes are not automatically guilty of them. They have the right to present a defense against the criminal charges they face, regardless of the kind of charges they are or the media attention surrounding them.
This is perhaps especially true with people who find themselves charged with crimes that are considered to be the most objectionable in our society. If an experienced criminal defense attorney doesn’t stand up for someone in this difficult situation, who will?
We are reminded of this in a recent case out of Jersey City. A 37-year-old high school art teacher is facing several charges in connection with an alleged relationship he had with a student, who was 16 at the time. The man faces sexual assault, child abuse and endangering the welfare of a child charges.
In addition to the public scrutiny of the charges, the man is out of a job as well. The school district elected to remove the man from his classroom position while the case is pending. Some students said they were surprised to hear of the news, and would not have expected such a case to involve this particular teacher.
In any case, the man has a long road ahead of him. Even if he is acquitted of the charges, or if they end up being dropped, he might have a difficult time finding a teaching job ever again in the future, either in New Jersey or anywhere else in the country.
Source: The Jersey Journal, “Jersey City teacher charged with having sex with student is suspended,” Ron Zeitlinger, June 18, 2014