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County Commissioner From Johnston County North Carolina Arrested For Sex Crime With Minor

Johnston County Commissioner Richard Braswell Arrested For Indecent Liberties With Teen In His Smithfield, NC OfficeAccording to WRAL, 73-year-old Richard D. Braswell was arrested and charged with indecent liberties with a child on Wednesday, June 29, 2022. Braswell and the child knew each other for years as they attended the same church, Ignite Baptist Church, located at 3243 US Hwy 70 E, Smithfield, NC 27577. Braswell, the owner of R. D. Braswell Construction Co, is said to own the land the church sits on.

When and Where Did the Abuse Take Place?

According to the Johnston County Report, the victim and her family reported the incident on June 6, 2022. The victim claimed she had an “inappropriate interaction with an adult male acquaintance.” This spurred the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office’s investigation into Braswell. Court documents state that the encounter took place on April 18, 2022, inside the commissioner’s office.

How Did Braswell Know the Victim?

The family alleged they “never saw this coming,” claiming the two had known each other for many years. Braswell was known to buy things for the victim and even take her places.

What Has Johnston County Commissioner Richard D. Braswell Been Charged With?

The Johnston County commissioner for District 3, Richard D. Braswell, has been arrested and charged with indecent liberties with a child. He was released on bail but will face a judge on Thursday.

Interview With Local North Carolina Attorney Kristen Beightol Regarding Justice For Sex Abuse Victims

Kristen Beightol is an experienced sex abuse attorney in the state of North Carolina. We recently sat down with her to discuss the legal rights available for victims of sexual abuse.

Laurence Banville: How does North Carolina law define different sex crimes, such as indecent liberties with a child?

Kristen Beightol: Typically, these types of cases involve actions that are sexual, lewd, or lascivious in nature. While they might not include physical or sexual contact with the victim, they involve acts that demonstrate offensive sexual desire toward a child under the age of 16.

Laurence Banville: What are the penalties for these types of sex crime cases?

Kristen Beightol: Each case may vary but perpetrators that are charged with indecent liberties with a child may face Class F felony charges. If found guilty, they could be forced to register as a sex offender in addition to other penalties that may include prison time.

Laurence Banville: Are there warning signs that may prevent sexual abuse?

Kristen Beightol: While not all cases of abuse could be detected or prevented, sometimes signs are missed. Most instances of sexual abuse are at the hands of those well known to the victim and family. Too often, we hear of perpetrators grooming their victims. This process includes building the trust of the child, often with flattery and gift-giving. People in positions of power and trust are able to use this to their advantage to exploit victims. This power can be used to silence the victim and help them get away with the abuse. It is essential to report all instances of sexual misconduct and for an investigation to ensue following the report.

Laurence Banville: How can victims get justice for sex crimes in North Carolina?

Kristen Beightol: Too often, sexual abuse occurs due to the negligence of a third party. A sexual assault lawyer will investigate the incident in order to hold all parties accountable. Regardless of the outcome of the criminal case, victims may be able to bring a separate civil claim against those third parties. In most sexual abuse and sex crimes cases, the only witnesses are the victim and the perpetrator, so it is important for the victim to speak with an experienced sexual assault attorney who can assess potential evidence in the case.

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