A 17-year-old is being charged with attempted sexual assault and two counts of aggravated battery. The woman was on the Old Plank Trail in Frankfurt when the attacker, Anthony M. Carbone, allegedly pushed her to the ground. The woman asked him what he was doing and Carbone apparently looked startled and then ran off.
Was this the act of a young man who suddenly came to his senses and realized what he was doing was wrong? Or is it the act of a young man who thought twice about a sex crime he was about to perpetrate?
The police determined at some point during interrogation that Carbone was attempting to rape the woman he knocked over. But the question of how they came about that information and why the man chose to flee instead of continuing to do whatever it was he was doing will complicate their case.
Questions of Interpretation Fall the Way of the Defendant
When announcing stories to the press, the police are under no obligation to be completely honest. They cannot necessarily outright lie. What they generally do is interpret the available data in the worst possible way—the way that generates the highest possible charges. The D.A. then takes this data and tries to convince a jury that it should be interpreted in the worst possible way. In lieu of this route, the D.A. will offer a plea bargain for a reduced charge that avoids a jury trial altogether.
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
In some cases, juries interpret “beyond a reasonable doubt” to mean “beyond any doubt.” In other cases, juries give the prosecution the benefit of a reasonable doubt. Why does this happen? The prosecution and the defense are each tasked with telling a story of what happened. When the prosecution’s story makes more sense than the defense’s story, the prosecution will generally win.
In this case, there are many possible stories that contradict the prosecution’s narrative that this was an attempted rape. What if the defendant was attempting to rob the woman? What if the defendant had a drug problem? Why did the defendant not continue to do whatever it was he was trying to do? Why did the defendant flee the scene once the woman asked him what he was doing?
All of these questions appear to mitigate the severity of the defendant’s charges. In other words, he might be guilty of battery or even aggravated battery, but why are we assuming that he attempted to sexually assault the woman?
Even aggravated battery will be difficult to prove. Aggravated battery requires that the injured party be seriously injured, permanently disfigured, or permanently impaired.
So it is a question of: Did the police catch a would-be serial rapist before he had a chance to harm anyone or is this a man who has been seriously overcharged by an overzealous police force?
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you have been charged with a crime in the Chicago area, call David Freidberg, Attorney at Law at (312) 560-7100 and we will ensure that the prosecution actually proves its case to the standard required by law.
(image courtesy of Aaker)