Court denies Tennessee man's request for sexual assault appeal

A former Murfreesboro City Schools band teacher recently sought to appeal certain evidence admitted in his criminal case. The denial of that request for an appeal of a sex crime conviction sends a cautionary note.

Specifically, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals disagreed that evidence has been improperly admitted in the criminal case. At issue were nude photographs of a minor on her cell phone. The defendant had allegedly requested them from the minor.

The phone pictures had been used in a criminal case in Lawrence County, Tennessee. A conviction resulted from that case, where the defendant was placed on two years probation. However, the same cell phone served as evidence in a new case in Rutherford County. Police discovered photos of the defendant on the cell phone. Authorities viewed the alleged act of sending pictures as a new criminal offense, and consequently initiated the Rutherford case.

In requesting an appeal, the defendant asserted that the same evidence has been used in both cases, violating double jeopardy rules. However, appeals court disagreed. The defendant’s conviction on six counts of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor ended in sentencing of a 30-year prison term.

Our firm’s founding lawyer worked as a public defender in Nashville. That experience provides an advantage to our clients. Sex crimes are aggressively prosecuted, but an experienced criminal defense attorney who focuses on this area of law can help protect your procedural rights and prepare a strong defense. We have defended individuals who were accused of many different state and federal sex crimes, including Internet child pornography, sexual exploitation of a minor, solicitation and sexual assault.

Source: WGNS Radio, “Former Murfreesboro City Schools Band Teacher asked for a new trial - No go,” Mar. 16, 2017

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