Sheriff's deputies in Frederick County, Virginia, claim that a 21-year-old man attacked two women in Winchester in separate incidents in December and January. The attacks purportedly both took place in the same residential complex, Preston Place Town Homes, located on Brigstock Drive. In the September incident, the deputies say, a woman found the defendant in her residence when she returned home. She claimed that the defendant attempted to take a knife away from her, and that she suffered superficial wounds in the ensuing struggle.
In the second incident, a woman alleged that she was attacked in bed in her residence by a nude man who the deputies are arguing was the defendant. She claimed that she was struck in the face and suffered minor wounds. In neither attack did the women claim that their attacker was armed.
The defendant was arrested on assault charges based on him fitting the description the women gave of their supposed attacker. In both cases, they said their attacker was an Hispanic male, and one of them said he was between 25 and 30 years old, heavy set, with a buzz hair cut and approximately 5 feet 4 inches in height. In making the arrest, the fact that the defendant was younger than the description was evidently ignored. The description could obviously fit many Hispanic men in the community.
The defendant is being held without bond and is said to have no fixed address. Many poor defendants, particularly from minority backgrounds, are held without bond. That is despite the fact that bond is only intended to guarantee an appearance at trial, and not to punish. It also happens despite the fact that accusations and charges are not evidence and proof. Every person accused of a crime is constitutionally entitled to a presumption of innocence until and unless they are first proven guilty in a court of law by proof beyond a reasonable doubt supported by reliable and admissible evidence. Criminal defense attorneys fight for the rights of all defendants, and remind juries of these important principles.
Source: Northern Virginia Daily, "Man charged in assaults on two women" Katie Demeria, Jan. 14, 2014