Rumors of past sexual harassment are swirling around Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. Cain was CEO of the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990’s. Two female staffers he worked with there accused him of sexual harassment. Though Cain strongly denied the accusations, he stepped down from his CEO position and, in his words, “allowed my general counsel and human resource officer to handle it.” Now that Cain is considered to be a top candidate for the Republican primary, he has had to defend against these allegations publicly. He is still strongly denying that any sexual harassment occurred.
In Herman Cain’s case, the female staffers only filed a complaint against him for money damages for his alleged inappropriate behavior. However, a person has much more to worry about if they are being investigated for a sex crime by their local or state police. As all good criminal defense lawyers know, being accused of a sex crime is a very scary thing.
In Michigan, the potential penalties for a sex crime conviction in a criminal prosecution (including Criminal Sexual Conduct in the first through fourth degrees, assault with intent, and more) are very harsh. Unlike a civil suit for sexual harassment, a criminal conviction can land a defendant in prison for many years. Convicted sex offenders will also likely be listed on Michigan’s public sex offender registry, which is an online database of people who have been convicted of a sex offense. Being on this public list can cause embarrassment, job loss, and more. That is why when a person is accused of a sex crime by the police or prosecutors, they should immediately contact a sex crime defense attorney.