Recently, Attorney Thistle and Attorney Winling received a Not Guilty verdict for their client on the charge of Gross Sexual Assault (Class B) in the York County Superior Court, in Alfred, Maine.

The client, a gentleman from Portland, Maine, was accused of engaging in a sexual act with a woman while she was unconscious or otherwise physically incapable, and who had not consented to the sexual act.

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There are many ways to charge Gross Sexual Assault under the Maine statute (17-A §253).  In this particular case, the State’s prosecutor specifically chose to allege that the woman was unconscious or otherwise physically incapable of resisting the sexual act.

Attorney Thistle and Attorney Winling were able to elicit testimony on cross examination from the woman which directly contradicted what she told the officers who responded to her original 911 call.  Once it was established that she had made inconsistent statements, the attorneys for the defendant were able to further impeach her credibility, and ultimately get the woman to say that she no longer remembered important details of the event.  Through the effective use of cross examination, the defense was able to later argue that the woman’s story did not make sense, and that it was more probable that she had consented to the sexual act (through her actions).

In all criminal proceedings, the Defendant always has the presumption of innocence until the State over comes that presumption.  To overcome the presumption, the State must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that every element of the crime was committed.

If you, or someone you know, has been charged with a crime, you are presumed innocent.  Even if you feel as though you are guilty, the State may not be able to prove it.  Before you plead guilty, or admit, to any crime, contact Attorney Eric Thistle for a free consultation.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide general information about Maine law. The publication of this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader.

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