The accusation is a very serious one. A 33-year-old Florida man is accused of raping a woman while the two of them were patients in a hospital. To make the accusation even worse, the woman was allegedly unable to walk or defend herself.

According to authorities’ allegations, both the accused and the woman were patients at Florida Medical Center. They were not acquainted with each other. The man allegedly went into the woman’s room without her permission and raped her as she pleaded with him to stop. He has been booked into the Broward County Jail on a charge of sexual assault. Bail was set at $90,000, based in part on a criminal record that allegedly includes felony charges of auto theft, battery of a police officer and aggravated battery.

Rape charges can result in significant penalties in Florida, including prison time. It is also a crime for which people are sometimes falsely accused. Anyone facing a rape charge needs an experienced criminal defense lawyer and an aggressive defense.

There are a number of possible defenses to a rape charge. Sometimes the victim makes an incorrect eyewitness identification. Sometimes the accused had reason to believe the alleged victim consented to the sexual contact. Sometimes there is insufficient physical evidence that rape actually occurred. Sometimes rape charges are fabricated by the alleged victim, out of motives of anger or revenge.

In a forcible rape case, it is critical to question every aspect of the prosecution’s case. If the lighting in the room was not sufficient, or if the defendant was identified at a prejudicial line-up, it may be possible to argue mistaken identification. If there are no witnesses to the alleged crime other than the victim, the jury may have to choose between the word of the accused and that of the accuser-a scenario that leaves a lot of room for reasonable doubt.

Source: UPI.com, “Florida hospital patient accused of raping another, disabled patient,” Evan Bleier, Dec. 9, 2013

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