Houman Fakhimi

Fullerton Sex Cases can be Tough to Prove With Few Witnesses

A recent case out of Los Angeles shows that Fullerton sex crimes can be among the toughest cases to prove.

And Fullerton criminal defense lawyers have seen cases in which public pressure and constant news media attention can lead to law enforcement investigations that fall short of an acceptable standard of proof. While police and prosecutors have different standards, an arrest shouldn't be made without solid evidence.

In the case of Miramonte Elementary School, where two teachers have now been arrested for alleged sex crimes against young students, police have made major allegations with their arrests. In cases where minors are involved, their testimony must be judged just like any other witness or victim, though perhaps with some added scrutiny.

Questioning a child witness or victim is often one of the more difficult parts of the job for an attorney. While every witness or alleged victim must be questioned to ensure the truth is found, doing so to a minor before a jury takes a certain amount of strategy.

When a person is facing potentially years or decades behind bars in a prison, the stakes are so high that this must be done. Police must do a better job of using good judgment when they are investigating these cases because even an arrest can be damaging to a person's reputation and future.

According to the Associated Press, a teacher who worked at the school for 32 years faces 23 felony charges and he's being held on $23 million bail before trial. A second teacher has been arrested and charged with fondling a student.

The first teacher is accused of blindfolding students, putting cockroaches on their faces, taping their mouths and other bizarre acts. Hundreds of photos have surfaced, after detectives executed search warrants at his house and a local pharmacy photo processing lab. Some of the photos reportedly show him feeding a substance on a spoon to students during a "tasting game."

The media has repeatedly published the police accusation that the man fed his own semen to students. It's unclear who took the photos or whether police have any proof that the substance in some photos actually was the man's semen.

In order to prove that the man committed lewd sex acts against the students, police must have more proof than simply photos that show an unknown substance and allegations. This could end up being a disaster for investigators, while parents are left to wonder what really happened and a defendant is left trying to repair his reputation.

Because of the serious allegations in this case, it will be one that the news media continues to follow. The defendants will now be forced to not only battle the sex crime allegations, but also the damage done to their names. As the cases progress, it will be interesting to see what proof the police bring out and whether the witnesses are credible.