Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
That’s what one LDS Bishop dealt with recently. A girl told her father that a teenage relative had sexually abused her. The father didn’t believe his daughter, so he had their church Bishop talk to his daughter to determine if she was telling the truth. Before she spoke with her Bishop, the police had already been notified and were investigating. When the girl met with the Bishop, he said that he didn’t think it was a good idea to talk to police until he talked to the relative and his parents. For that reason, prosecutors charged him with a third-degree felony of witness tampering and class B misdemeanor failure to report child abuse.
Ultimately, the prosecutors dismissed the charges. But now, this Bishop has a stain on his reputation that cannot be easily erased. This is what sex crime charges do: they ruin reputations. Even though the Bishop was innocent of the charges and was trying to do the right thing, the police and prosecution decided to charge first and ask questions later.
If a person is about to be charged with a crime, it is beneficial to hire an attorney who can sometimes prevent the charges from even being filed. If charges are ultimately filed, then an aggressive attorney can defend those charges.