Sexual abuse can be everywhere, it might be occurring in our own home. According to a Defense Lawyer, on September 5, 1995, James L. Archer was convicted by the County Court of crimes of sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. During trial, the 13-year-old victim testified that prior to the commission of the crimes, James L. Archer, a 31-year-old live in companion of the victim’s aunt, told her that he wanted to rape her and have a baby with her. She further testified that Archer threatened to kill her whole family if she revealed his feelings about her to anyone. The victim indicated that she believed these threats and, for that reason, did not immediately report the crimes.
Based on the report, Archer’s initial argument on his appeal was that the jury’s verdict finding him guilty of two counts of the crime of sexual abuse is not supported by legally sufficient evidence in that there is no proof of forcible compulsion. As relevant here, ‘Forcible Compulsion’ means to compel by either use of physical force; or a threat, express or implied, which places a person in fear of immediate death or physical injury to herself or another person. The higher court held that given the victim’s young age and Archer’s dominance over her by reason of his age and relationship with her aunt, the jury could have reasonably inferred that Archer accomplished the sexual contact through the use of threats that placed the victim in fear of immediate death or physical injury to herself or members of her family.