In a recent sexual assault case against a former U.S. Navy Commander, the presiding judge dismissed what could be crucial evidence after deeming it inadmissible. The evidence? Video that captured the U.S. Navy Commander allegedly attempting to rape a colleague.
Sexual Assault Charges Brought Against U.S. Navy Commander
Former Commander John M. Neuhart II, 39, is facing multiple charges: attempted forced rape, assault with intent to rape, hot prowl burglary and resisting arrest charges. The video, which allegedly captures the incident, was deemed inadmissible because Neuhart gave officers the password for his Apple iPhone 6 after he had already obtained legal counsel. Nuehart’s attorney, Kerry Armstrong, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf and Neuhart is currently out on bail.
The incident took place Sept. 12 when police responded to a call of a sexual assault, according to San Diego Police Department Sex Crimes Lt. Paul Phillips. Allegedly, Neuhart and the victim, who is also a member of the Navy, met at a hotel. The victim, who was with a group of friends recognized Neuhart, according to Phillips. The group hung out for a while until the victim left the bar to go home. Neuhart followed along with her.
Allegedly, when Neuhart followed the victim into her house, he allegedly attempted to rape her.
“The suspect immediately became forceful with her and attempted to sexually assault her,” Phillips said.
The victim testified Neuhart took off her pants without consent and that she pushed him out of her home. According to prosecutors, Neuhart returned into the victim’s house through french doors on her back balcony.
Neuhart then allegedly told the victim to get a condom, then threw her against the stove and kitchen counter. The victim testified that her pit bull, Jax, bit Neuhart. The victim’s screams were heard by a neighbor who then ran to the front of the house to ask if the victim was okay. When the victim responded that she was not okay, the neighbor called 911. The neighbor then told the victim - through a window - that police were on their way.
According to Phillips, Neuhart heard the remark and then escaped through the back door. The neighbor was able to flag down police as they arrived and point out Neuhart, who was running down the street towards a nearby canyon. Officers were able to apprehend Neuhart and take him into custody.
Neuhart’s defense attorney claims the victim flirted and kissed the defendant and that the contact between the two was consensual after a night out drinking.
The former commander is married and has worked in the military for more than 15 years. Neuhart was the commanding officer of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, based at Anderson Air Force Base on Guam. If convicted, Neuhart could face life in prison.
What is “Sexual Assault”
Sexual assault is defined as any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of a recipient. Included under the term sexual assault are the following: forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.
Addressing Sexual Assault Accusations
Sexual assault crimes are taken very seriously by the law. If you have been falsely accused you might assume that the charges will just be dropped because of how ludicrous they are to you. These types of allegations do not just “go away,” and you will need to be prepared if you are falsely accused.
Here are some things you can do:
- Do not speak with police or investigators until you have contacted a criminal defense attorney. They might try different tactics to get you to admit to a crime you did not commit. Remember that they are always trying to build a case. Simply state that you will not speak with them unless there is an attorney present.
- Get in touch with a qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney. You’ll want to do this as soon as possible, even if you just expect the charges to be dismissed. Prepare for what the allegations might bring. You will be asked to defend yourself, so you’ll need to be prepared. This means contacting witnesses that can testify or provide an alibi for you. You might also need to take psychological tests, or be asked to provide other evidence. Write down as many details as possible about what you remember.
- Study. A criminal defense attorney will be able to guide you through fighting the allegations, but it’s in your best interest to understand the legal process and know your rights.
You will want to follow all the legal rules and precautions you can, and the best way you can protect yourself is by working with an experienced defense attorney such as Sevens Legal, APC.
If You Get Arrested for a Sex Crime
In 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona, that individuals arrested because they are believed to have committed a crime are allowed certain rights that must be explained to them. This must happen before any interrogation. It’s important to note that these rights only need to be read when a person has been taken into custody. “Miranda Rights” are meant to protect a suspect from self-incrimination and is protected under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Those “Miranda Rights” are as follows:
- You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions.
- Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law.
- You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you before any questioning if you wish.
- If you decide to answer questions now without an attorney present, you will still have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to an attorney. Knowing and understanding your rights as I have explained them to you, are you willing to answer my questions without an attorney present?
Why Work with a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
When faced with serious penalties or spending time in jail or prison, you need to retain a criminal defense lawyer to represent you in court. If you are facing an assault or battery charge, or a theft charge, a criminal defense attorney will investigate your case’s specifics and determine if you were wrongfully charged. They also will be able to identify if there are any other existing reasons for why the case should be dismissed before it goes to trial. If the charges are not dismissed before trial, a criminal attorney may be able negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor on your behalf. If a plea bargain cannot be negotiated, a criminal defense attorney will prepare your defense and represent you at trial.
Working with Sevens Legal, APC
After you have discussed the specifics of your case, your Sevens Legal, APC, will let you know your case’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as any possible risks associated with punishment and convictions you may face. Your Sevens Legal, APC, defense attorney can help negotiate a plea deal or whether the best course of action is to move forward to trial, while working constantly for your best interests.
Sevens Legal, APC, criminal defense lawyers put our experience to work for you. Every defendant deserves a zealous defense. To schedule your free consultation with one of our Sevens Legal, APC, criminal defense lawyers, call (619) 494-3440. Contact Sevens Legal, APC, today for a free consultation.
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