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Former customs officer convicted of rape

A former customs officer received six years in prison after his conviction for raping two women in Orange County. The 33-year-old defendant plead guilty to two felony charges of rape and faces lifetime sex offender registration as well as prison time for the crimes. These charges involved crimes that were allegedly committed when he was working for U.S. Customs.

The defendant was charged with the first rape in connection with an incident that occurred in September of 2009. A young woman was drinking at a bar in Long Beach and claims the defendant raped her after she lost consciousness and then left her lying alone in the bushes. The second rape charge came out of an incident in November of 2010 in which the suspect allegedly hired a prostitute and then raped her in Garden Grove after she attempted to leave.

Both rapes were reported to the police who were able to use DNA evidence that linked the assaults to the suspect. In general, DNA evidence is very difficult to dispute at trial, but the accounts of how the suspect and the women came to be together could be questionable. In one case, the woman was unconscious at the time of the alleged attack, and in the other case, the woman may have been hired for sexual encounter. Either or both of those cases could bear different interpretations, depending on whose point of view is considered.

It is the job of a criminal defense attorney to examine all possible explanations of a crime to determine if there is a viable defense. The criminal defense lawyer then works with a suspect to determine the best way to prepare that defense or to negotiate a plea for a shorter prison term.

Source: Fresno Bee, "Ex-customs officer convicted of OC sex assaults," Jan. 8, 2013

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