An Oregon priest currently awaits sentencing on several felony charges. He recently pleaded guilty a sex crime -- first-degree sexual abuse. In Oregon, the minimum sentence for first-degree sexual abuse is six years, but he could face additional time for a driving while intoxicated charge and for a furnishing alcohol to a minor charge.
Despite maintaining his innocence, a man has been sentenced to life in prison for sex crimes. The man was charged with several felonies including promoting prostitution, sexual abuse, child sex abuse and compelling prostitution. The man will not be eligible for parole.
An Oregon teacher has recently accepted a plea deal that resulted in prosecutors dropping felony charges against her. In this case, prosecutors claim that the 37-year-old high school teacher had inappropriate sexual relations with a 17-year-old student. Since the student was underage at the time of the sexual contact, the teacher was charged with several felony sex crimes. According to police, another teacher reported the sexual activity.
Some crimes, due to their shocking nature, get extra attention from the media. The media sometimes take these cases and sensationalize them for their own gain. In these types of cases, it can be hard for those accused of a crime to get fair criminal proceedings. Because people see the news version of the story and form their own opinions, even if the person is innocent, he or she can be unfairly judged.
You don't have to be an attorney to know that in Oregon and everywhere else in the nation, criminal defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. But that doesn't mean that if you're charged with a crime, you won't face certain restrictions before you go to trial. You also may face premature conviction in the court of public opinion, which doesn't always play by the same rules.