As a former public defender, I am aware that substantial government resources may go toward investigating and prosecuting alleged sex crimes. Investigations may begin months or even years before an arrest is made. The recent arrest of a Tennessee man provides context.

The accused, a 48-year-old former deputy at the Blount County sheriff’s office, has been charged with soliciting a child by a computer. According to the allegations, the former deputy had made plans via the Internet to meet a 14-year-old girl. The Asheville Police Department, in partnership with an Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, intercepted the former deputy after he left his home but before he met up with the minor. The State Bureau of Investigation also participated in the operation.

It is typical for several agencies to participate in sting operations against alleged sex offenders, as in today’s story. That allocation of time, money and personnel can be very intimidating to a criminal defendant. At the same time, the stigma associated with sex offenses can present a psychological obstacle.

A defendant deserves to have a fair trial in court, where procedures are followed and prosecutors are held to their burden of proof. Unfortunately, even allegations of a sex crime may seem like an indictment. For that reason, it is essential for an individual who is under investigation or who is facing sex or child pornography charges to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Our Nashville criminal defense law firm has represented clients in both state and federal criminal courts. When defendants are not given the benefit of their procedural rights, we have also aggressively filed appeals on their behalf. We are licensed to represent clients in federal appeals cases in the U.S. 6th District Court of Appeals, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court.

Source: Citizen Times, “Tennessee deputy arrested in Asheville, charged with sex crime,” Abigail Margulis, Oct. 7, 2016