When a child is harmed by a sex offense, naturally people want to blame someone. However, it is extremely challenging to interview children in sex abuse cases and discover the truth. It is a delicate job that requires experience and training. Many times children misunderstand the questions, or are susceptible to adult suggestions.

A 43-year-old man sits behind bars on a conviction of first-degree sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl.

The little girl says that the accused man touched her. The child was interviewed by a nurse but there is an allegation that the nurse violated standard procedures. In addition, no other explanations for the child’s responses were sought, even though a convicted sex offender lived in the vicinity and was never interviewed.

The accused man has always maintained his innocence and even submitted to a lie detector test and passed. According to his version of events, the child was left home alone and wandered to his home. He brought her back to her home and left her there. When the girl’s mother approached him about what happened, he says he admonished the mother for abandoning her child.

At trial, the accused man’s criminal defense attorney did not have him testify, nor did his attorney call any friends or family to testify on the man’s behalf. The lie detector test was not admissible in court. He was convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2005.

This story is an important reminder about the importance of having a strong criminal defense to combat charges of sexual assault in New Jersey before a conviction.

Source: Star Tribune, “Rosenblum: In the waning days of her life, a mom fights to restore son’s,” Gail Rosenblum, May 12, 2012