The statement of “I thought they were an adult” does not work in court.
A 29-year old man from Indianapolis is facing criminal charges in Murfreesboro. The suspect, Stephen Michael Schott, allegedly had a sexual encounter with a juvenile and another male of an unknown age while visiting Rutherford County.
Murfreesboro Police spoke to the juvenile who disclosed the details of the encounter and gave authorities an address of where they could find the suspect. When police spoke to the Schott, he told them he thought the juvenile was actually an adult. Regardless of that thought, the suspect has been charged with Statutory Rape. He will appear in a Rutherford County courtroom on August 12, 2014.
In court, the defense must be able to prove without a doubt that he had or saw real evidence leading him to believe that the victim was of age. That evidence will then have to be provided to the court. The state will then have the burden of proving otherwise. The case was investigated by Detective Tyler Smith with the MPD.
The idea of suggesting a victim was "of age," has been used in court before:
In an unrelated case involving a pastor from Knoxville, Tennessee, the defense suggested the victim said that she was 18. The argument did not hold up in court and the suspect was found guilty on two counts of statutory rape. He was later sentenced to spend the next 40-years behind bars. Read that story HERE.
MPD Arrest Report #14-12430
Other story: BlueRidgeNow.com