In Washington criminal matters, the prosecution bears the burden of proving the defendant’s guilt. Specifically, the State must produce sufficient evidence to demonstrate, beyond a reasonable doubt, each element of the charged offense. If it cannot, the defendant should be deemed not guilty. Recently, a Washington court discussed what evidence is needed to prove a defendant committed an assault offense in a case in which the State charged the defendant with more than forty crimes. If you are accused of assault, it is in your best interest to speak to a Washington assault defense attorney to assess your options for seeking a just outcome.
The Facts of the Case
It is reported that the defendant and the victim began dating in March 2016. Shortly after they began dating, the defendant advised the victim that he would leave his girlfriend if the victim would prostitute herself for money. The victim began posting prostitution ads and going on prostitution calls and gave the money she earned to the defendant.
Allegedly, after the victim became a prostitute, the defendant began to hit, cut, burn, and sexually abuse her. He threatened to kill her if she did not do as he directed or attempted to leave him. In January 2018, the State charged the defendant with 45 separate criminal offenses, including second-degree assault. He was convicted on over forty counts, including the assault charges, and he appealed, arguing the State lacked sufficient evidence to prove his guilt. Continue reading