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Man denies charge of raping an autistic girl

A 36-year-old San Francisco man has pleaded not guilty to charges of sex crimes against a 16-year-old autistic girl. The victim lived at a group home located in the Oakland area and wandered away from the facility in late November.

The 16-year-old girl, who has the mental capacity of a much younger child, was initially followed for a time by some of the facility staff, but they lost visual contact with her close to the Fruitvale BART metro stop and called the police. From there, the girl was abducted and moved to a residence in the area. She was raped several times over three days. After she escaped, a train operator discovered her and alerted the police. She was able to help police find the man who allegedly attacked her.

Police obtained pictures of the suspect from the security cameras located at the BART station. He was arrested near the scene of the abduction and charged with kidnapping, multiple counts of rape and multiple counts of lewd acts on a minor. The suspect has prior felony convictions for assault, robbery and burglary.

Sexual offenses against minors are some of the most difficult cases to defend. A person accused of a sex crime might benefit from the help of a criminal defense attorney who understands how to defend against this particular kind of charge. Penalties are severe and can include long prison sentences, fines and inclusion on the sexual offenders list. An attorney may be able to review the evidence and perhaps have the charges reduced or negotiate a plea bargain that lessens the prison sentence.

Source: KTVU.com, "Not guilty plea in sexual assult of autistic girl," Jan. 16, 2013

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