A 38-year-old Maryland man has been charged with multiple sex offenses in connection with an alleged assault of a 16-year-old boy. Police believe that other victims may step forward to make similar accusations. The Columbia resident has been charged with soliciting a minor, trafficking, prostitution and sexual assault. Media reports indicate that the man has been denied bond and is being held at the Howard County Detention Center.
The sexual assault allegedly occurred on Oct. 29. The victim is said to have told police that the man was behind the wheel of a black Cadillac sedan that approached him as he panhandled in the vicinity of the Mall in Columbia. The boy says that he was lured into the man’s car by the promise of hundreds of dollars. Once inside the car, the man is alleged to have told the boy that he would be paid the money for engaging in sexual acts with others.
The man then allegedly drove the boy to his Deep River Canyon residence. This is where police believe the assault took place. Police claim that the man handed the boy $12 after the assault and then released him. Police identified the man based on the boy’s description and account of events and took the man into custody without incident at his home. The investigation into the man’s alleged activities is ongoing.
When presented with an alleged sequence of events similar to this, experienced criminal defense attorneys may advise defendants to remain silent. Criminal charges must be proved beyond reasonable doubt, which could be a difficult standard for prosecutors to meet if statements made by an alleged victim are not supported by physical evidence or eyewitness testimony. When the cases against their clients are insubstantial, attorneys may seek to have the charges either reduced or dropped.