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Autistic woman alleges sexual assault against New Jersey worker

A New Jersey man was recently arrested after being accused of aggravated sexual assault. According to the accusation, the sexual assault happened at the time he had been working at a group home with an autistic patient. He is currently being held in Somerset County on $250,000 bail.

The allegations surfaced when a 35-year-old autistic woman claimed the man had sexually assaulted her in March at a group home where he worked. After moving to another group home for an unspecified reason, she told a supervisor about the alleged March incident. That ultimately led authorities to charge the man with aggravated sexual assault.

Undoubtedly, this accusation carries serious weight, especially since his role was supposed to support the group home. However, there was no report of physical evidence, nor was it stated whether any witnesses saw the claimed incident or recognized suspicious behavior. In a court of law, indisputable evidence must be prevented in order to meet the burden of proof for conviction. As such it can be difficult to prove allegations in the absence of physical evidence.

Facing allegations of sexual assault could put the future of this man's career in serious jeopardy. Yet those accused of a crime, no matter how severe, are still protected under New Jersey law and are considered innocent until and unless proven guilty.

In this case, the accused man will need to focus on the specifics of the accusations by this woman in order to determine his best possible defense, as well as look carefully at the evidence that may be offered against him in the courtroom. In this way, he can work to fully protect his legal rights while fighting for the acquittal he seeks.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "NJ group home staffer charged with sex assault," July 25, 2012

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