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DA says not enough evidence to prove rape against Alameda deputy

Our justice system exists to ensure that those who have been accused of a crime get a fair trial at which they can present evidence to defend themselves. Prosecutors are held to a high standard of having to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone is guilty of committing a crime. If that burden of proof cannot be met, the defendant cannot be found guilty. Our justice system recently held true when rape charges against an Alameda County Sheriff's deputy were dropped.

According to the district attorney's office, they didn't have the evidence necessary to prove without doubt that the deputy committed the crime. The 28-year-old deputy was charged in December with multiple sex crimes, including rape. His preliminary hearings were supposed to start next week.

Throughout the entire case, the deputy has been consistent in proclaiming his innocence. The woman he was accused of raping is apparently an ex-girlfriend. He was investigated not only by the district attorney's office, but also by his own office. The findings, however, were not included in a recent news story.

What this case can teach us is that accusations are not always accurate. Fortunately, prosecutors bear the burden of proving the charges before a person can be convicted. In some cases, there is simply not enough evidence to go to trial. In other cases, a person was simply wrongly accused. Either way, if you are facing criminal charges, it's important to know that an accusation is not a conviction. Sometimes the prosecution gets it wrong.

Source: San Jose Mercury-News, "Contra Costa DA drops rape charges against Alameda County Sheriff's deputy," Malaika Fraley, Aug. 15, 2012

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