One crime that has been on the rise in the state of Michigan is Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC). The “Me Too Movement” and other court personnel such as Victim’s Rights Advocates have led those with the claim of being raped to come forward years after the fact. The impact that this is having on the Michigan Criminal Justice System is startling. To learn more about the reporting of CSC’s we turned to several of the top criminal defense lawyers in the state of Michigan to gain their insight.
Scott Grabel is the founder of Grabel and Associates and has created a law firm which is comprised of the top criminal lawyers in our state. When asked about the impact of the new charges, Grabel stated, “The goal of the “Me Too Movement” is to give victims a voice and for that I commend it. The issue that we are starting to see if that allegations come forward decades after the fact with no physical evidence. We are in a situation where anybody can be accused of anything and that is a difficult place for the defendant to be. As criminal defense lawyers, we need to be on top of our game at all times.”
William Amadeo is a Partner at McManus and Amadeo and a Senior Associate for Grabel and Associates. Amadeo has developed a reputation as the top criminal defense lawyer in Washtenaw County and provided commentary when he said, “In Washtenaw, I believe the prosecutor’s office charges 43% of the time (last study). With that stated, we are seeing a lot of delayed reporting cases across the state and many counties outside of Washtenaw are charging at a much greater percentage. When there is no physical evidence the case becomes a one on one credibility contest and the job of defense counsel is not simply to argue the facts but to center on the personality of the defendant and their positive attributes.”
Joseph Brugnoli is an Associate for Grabel and Associates and known as one of the top defense lawyer’s in Kent County. When asked his thoughts on new CSC allegations, Brugnoli stated, “As we watch the Justice Brett Kavanaugh saga unfold, we saw many on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram implore their political beliefs. The reality is that in these cases, regardless of the burden of proof provided to us in the United States Constitution, we need to go on the offense for our clients because in the court of public opinion many are falsely convicted without the facts being presented.”
While victims need a voice, there is an argument that victims can come in the form of not only those that were physically harmed but those that are being falsely accused. With the potential for the elimination of the Michigan Sexual Registry and charges on the rise, 2020 will be a pivotal year for the charge of CSC.