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Student faces sexual assault charges after campus incident

Hollywood has used college housing as the setting for a variety of movies involving partying, sexual promiscuity and other frivolity. However, the truth is that most students, including those at Tennessee's universities and colleges, are just trying to get an education, have a modest amount of fun and do it safely. Statistics indicate that one out of every four of women could become the victim of sexual assault at some point during their college careers, and 80 percent of them will know their attackers -- at least in passing.

Of course, no woman should have to suffer through an assault. Even so, as the victims of sexual assault, these women have a responsibility to be sure that any identification they provide police is as accurate as possible in order to avoid accusing the wrong person. At the same time, when the identity of the attacker is known, police are obligated to ensure that person's rights are protected. This means following all established policies and procedures regarding contact with an alleged perpetrator.

For instance, at around 5:30 p.m. on a recent Tuesday night, police were called to a University of Memphis housing complex by a woman. She claimed that someone in the complex had fondled her and took her underwear without her consent. The 21-year-old man she accused allegedly confessed to assaulting the woman.

Even though he might have given police a confession that does not necessarily mean that it will be admissible in any criminal proceedings relating to the sexual assault. It would be in the man's best interests to obtain the assistance of criminal defense counsel as soon as possible. Tennessee prosecutors must substantiate the evidence they intend to present to the court, including ensuring the court that it was legally obtained. Any violation of this man's rights could result in the dismissal of the charges.

Source: wreg.com, "Man arrested for rape in U of M student housing", George Brown and Shay Arthur, May 4, 2016

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