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Second woman accuses law student of sexual assault

Being accused of a crime can be an emotional and serious experience. Being accused of the same crime twice not only heightens the concerns associated with the allegations, but it could also increase the potential penalties and damage the reputation of the defendant.

A Louisiana State University law student who was charged with raping a woman has been arrested again after another woman came forward and said that he sexually assaulted her. The 25-year-old man was being held at East Baton Rouge Parish Prison awaiting $160,000 bail.

The man was first arrested last month after a 26-year-old woman told police that he had raped her. He was charged with forcible rape and sexual battery. Later, she claimed that he had raped her a second time.

After the man was arrested, a second woman came forward and told police that the man had sexually assaulted her after she met him at a tailgate party. The 24-year-old woman said she went to the man's home after leaving the party, but that he became very aggressive, touching her inappropriately and throwing her down on a bed several times after she told him to stop. She said she feared he was going to rape her and so she fled the man's apartment.

The law student has reportedly not been seen at classes since his arrest, and the law school's chancellor would not say whether he will be allowed to return. Allegations of sex crimes can be extremely damaging to personal and professional life of the accused.

The penalties for those convicted of sex crimes in Louisiana are harsh, and carry long-term consequences. In addition to prison sentences and fines, those convicted will likely have their names placed on the National Sex Offender Registry, which will interfere with their ability to find suitable employment or housing for many years to come.

Because the consequences of a conviction are so serious, it's crucial that Louisiana residents accused of rape and other sex crimes build a strong legal defense. This can decrease the impact the charge has and could minimize or drop the charges. With the right strategy, they can minimize the damage to their reputation that comes with these charges and begin trying to rebuild their lives.

Source: The Daily Reveille, "Student charged with second rape," Zachery Carline, Sept. 25, 2013

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