People v. Jose S. (Not Guilty Verdict)
Jose S., a late thirties father of two young daughters, was charged with two counts of sexual battery against a ten-year-old (alleged) victim. He had no prior criminal history. Jose S. was roommates with the father of the alleged victim. One night, Jose S. came home with a friend after bar-hopping and made a lot of noise. The roommate burst out of his room and beat up Jose S.
After he threw Jose S. and his friend out of the apartment, the roommate called the police and accused Jose S. of having had inappropriate contact with his daughter.Despite Jose S. being badly bruised, the police (who immediately believed the story the rommate told) overlooked the fact he had been beaten and treated him like a deviant and a criminal. Likewise, the prosecutor’s response to the question “why don’t you prosecute [the roommate] for beating up Jose S.?” was “because he deserved it for what he did.”
Despite a psycho-sexual evaluation in which it was clear that Jose S. had no interest in little girls, the prosecutor was adamant that the only possible settlement of the case would result in life-time registration as a sex offender. It would have been bad enough to suffer a conviction for a crime he didn’t commit, but Jose S. was determined not to become subject to being a registered sex offender.
The case went to trial in Long Beach, a very conservative venue. Notwithstanding the prosecutions best efforts to paint Jose S. as some sort of a deviant, attorney Michael Levin was able to convince the jury that the roommates accusation was merely a means of taking the spotlight off himself for beating up Jose S. The jury returned a verdict of NOT GUILTY on all counts after just two and one half hours of deliberation. Jose S. was able to get back to his life as a law abiding citizen.