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Criminal defense: Court officer accused of sexual assault

A court officer in Brooklyn is facing serious charges after being accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a courthouse last year, according to local sources. The 58-year-old New York man was arraigned on Aug. 21 for several charges, including second-degree coercion, official misconduct, exposure of a person and public lewdness. The man is now likely focused on his criminal defense, alongside his legal counsel. 

According to the complaint, the alleged incident occurred on Oct. 21, 2016, when the man is said to have approached a then 25-year-old woman who was waiting to bail out her boyfriend in Brooklyn Criminal Court. She claims that the court officer approached her in a stairwell and offered to help bail her boyfriend out if she performed sex acts on him. She says he also threatened to damage the their case if she refused. 

The court officer is accused of physically coercing the woman into the unwanted sex act by grabbing her by the hair, fondling her and attempting to kiss her. He was suspended without pay the following month. It's unclear when the man will next be required to appear before the court with respect to the formal charges. 

In criminal defense cases of this type, the reputation of an accused individual can be irreparably damaged simply by the act of being accused. This is why it is so important for New York prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the crime was committed. Criminal defense counsel will certainly review the facts of the case and look for inconsistencies in the woman's initial statements. Indeed, much of this case may depend upon the testimony of the woman in court. 

Source: Fox News, "Court cop charged in sex assault on woman in New York courthouse, DA says", Aug. 21, 2017

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