Buddy Valastro is the star of the TLC reality TV show "Cake Boss," which chronicles the adventures of running his family bakery business. Unfortunately, the star's brother-in-law was convicted on aggravated sexual assault charges involving a 13-year-old New Jersey girl.
The brother-in-law has since been sentenced to nine years in prison for the sex crimes, after his request to have his prior guilty plea withdrawn was denied. Because of the sexual assault conviction, he will also have to register as a sex offender.
While it was not specified how the man met the 13-year-old, two witnesses apparently claimed that the man committed multiple acts of assault. These kinds of claims can quickly become disputed in a court of law, because witnesses can have different perspectives and their memories can skew what actually happened.
Furthermore, the witnesses called to testify may have biases against the defendant, thereby calling into question whether or not their testimony is truly impartial. However, the man still pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual assault.
When he later tried to withdraw the pleas, he argued that he felt pressured into admitting to acts that he did not commit. Though he was said to have admitted to having some type of relationship with the teenager to the eyewitnesses, he said that the sexual assault charges were unfounded. Nevertheless, the conviction was allowed to stand, and prosecutors believe he will be deported to his native Mexico after serving his prison sentence.
Those who are facing sex crimes charges in New Jersey can may be afraid of the penalties involved and make hasty remarks or decisions, which can ultimately end up being quite costly. Furthermore, many people accused of a crime may feel it is better to admit to a crime that they didn't even commit out of fear.
In any case, anyone accused of a criminal offense is presumed innocent unless proven guilty, no matter the nature of the crime for which they have been accused. Every detail of the prosecution's evidence should be carefully examined in order to protect the rights and liberty of the accused.
Source: CBS News, "Remy Gonzalez, "Cake Boss" star Buddy Valastro's brother-in-law, sentenced in sex assault case," Edecio Martinez, May 24, 2012