Allegations of Consensual Sex
Allegations were made that the 20-year-old Mifflin County client had consensual sex with a 12-year old girl. The client was charged with Rape, Aggravated Sexual Assault, and Statutory Sexual Assault. While the young girl admitted that she had lied about her age, the criminal defense attorney could not assert a defense based upon "mistake as to age" because the charge involved an alleged victim that was under the age of 14.
Under applicable Pennsylvania law at the time, the Mifflin County client was facing a 5-year mandatory minimum sentence if convicted. The client denied that he had engaged in any sexual activity with his accuser. The client was represented by a Mifflin County criminal defense lawyer at the preliminary hearing, and the Mifflin County defense lawyer questioned the accuser regarding her recollection of events. A transcript of the accuser's testimony was obtained prior to trial.
Unsatisfied with the Mifflin County defense lawyer, the client was represented by State College criminal defense lawyer Jason S. Dunkle. At trial, the criminal defense lawyer thoroughly cross-examined the accuser regarding her recollection of events and used the transcript of testimony from the prior hearing to impeach the testimony of the accuser. He also cross-examined the Mifflin County police officer that handled the investigation regarding the lack of physical evidence to corroborate that any type of sexual activity had occurred, such as a "rape kit" or DNA evidence.
By emphasizing the changes in testimony of the accuser and the lack of corroborative physical evidence, the State College criminal defense lawyer argued that the accuser was not credible and that the client must be found not guilty. The Mifflin County jury returned a verdict of not guilty on all counts.