Well, 28-year-old Miles Anderson (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) is in criminal court type trouble.
Police in New Hampshire say that he has been accused of breaking into a home, taking off his clothes, and assaulting a sleeping child.
Law enforcement says that the Defendant entered the Concord home shortly after 4 a.m. Monday. He made his way into the child’s bedroom and disrobed. Police say he then assaulted the child, who was able to run away and alert family members.
Another man who lives in the house was able to restrain the Defendant while other household members called the police.
According to Boston.com, the Defendant was arrested on charges of burglary, indecent exposure, and simple assault
Most folks will look at these facts and assume that the Defendant forced himself into a home, found a child sleeping and sexually assaulted her.
This would be inconsistent with the charges that are now pending. I should advise you that this is a New Hampshire case. Although the criminal laws tend to be similar, I offer this proviso that I am writing about this as if it were a Massachusetts case.
First off, the omnipresent defense attorney in me rushes to remind you that, at this point, the Defendant has been proven guilty of nothing. This could all be an unfortunate misunderstanding.
When one envisions someone forcing their way into a home, one assumes a show of force and violence. Folks struggling to keep the intruder out and that sort of thing. This does not seem to be what is charged here. To be sure, the state says that the Defendant had no right to be in the home. Thus, the charge of burglary. This no charge of “breaking and entering”, which there would have been if the Defendant had broken his way in.
Obviously, though, this is not so much a case about burglary as it is a crime of sexual assault.
Or so it would seem.
The Defendant is charged with indecent exposure. Basically, that he removed his clothing. Often, when one is charged with this crime, a defendant is said to have masturbated in front of someone. This does not seem to be the allegation here.
Now, here is the key. He is not charged with any kind of sexual assault and battery. In fact, he was not charged with any type of battery.
“What’s the difference, Sam?”
Assault is when you act to put someone in fear of harm. Battery is when the offensive touching is actually made.
It sounds like the Defendant came into the house (where he did not belong), went to the bedroom. Undressed. The child saw him and ran out of the room.
Don’t misunderstand me…it is still a serious case. However, it is not a case of an actual sexual assault.
“That does not mean that it wasn’t about to be!”
This is true, which is particularly bothersome about the scenario.
“What defense do you expect in this case?”
Well, we know it is not an alibi or identification case. In other words, there is no doubt that the Defendant was there. Likewise, he cannot claim that the child was his lover and he was coming back to bed.
A child cannot have a lover. There could be no consent.
It would seem to me that the most likely defense is some kind of insanity defense. Perhaps that he thought this was his home or something.
“Couldn’t he just say that he thought it was his home, it was dark and he got confused?”
Well, we still don’t know the process by which he got into the home. Also, he would still have to explain why he was undressed in the child’s room.
Time will tell. But the tip in today’s posting is not to assume that the facts are quite as outrageous as they seem in the headlines. Remember there is a motive on the part of the media to sensationalize.