While not as widely publicized, men—not just women—can be victims of sexual assault, as testified by a rare high-profile lawsuit recently filed by a former player of the Chicago Blackhawks.
The player, Kyle Beach, filed a lawsuit against the National Hockey League team in May 2021.
Beach alleged that in 2010, Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich sexually assaulted him, and he complained soon afterward to team management about it. But he said upper management of the team ignored his complaint until the team had won the NHL championship and the Stanley Cup that season.
According to NPR, an independent investigation by a law firm hired by the Blackhawks confirmed Beach’s claims. Following the release of the 107-page report, the team ousted 2 top officials who were in place at the time of the alleged assault.
Now a professional hockey player in Germany, Beach said in an interview with TSN that he felt vindicated by the report.
“It was no longer my word against everybody else’s,” he said.
Beach was 20 years old and a “Black Ace” player added to the team’s roster during its playoff run in 2010. He said the team’s video coach had invited him to his apartment for dinner and drinks, then threatened his place on the team and sexually assaulted him.
Beach told other members of the team’s staff of the assault, who reported it up the ladder to front-office officials. But they reportedly chose to avoid bad publicity during the playoffs and did not make the allegations public or take any action to remove Aldrich from the team until well after the team had won the Stanley Cup.
Soon afterward, Aldrich was given a chance to resign or undergo an investigation. He reportedly resigned, then took several jobs, including one at a high school in Houghton, Michigan. There, in 2013, he reportedly was arrested and pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a minor.
The independent investigation also indicated that the video coach had made a sexual advance on a Blackhawks intern.
Men can be victims of sexual assault, too
While women are victims in the vast majority of sexual assault cases, men can also be assaulted.
According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), 10 percent of sexual abuse victims are male, and transgender students face a higher risk than others.
Also, males who are 18 to 24 years old and are college students are about 5 times more likely to be victims of rape or sexual assault than other males of the same age who are not college students.
State laws against sexual assault vary
Laws against sexual abuse and sexual assault vary from state to state, but punishments would not differentiate whether the victim was male or female. Sexual assault is sexual assault.
In Texas, non-consensual sexual contact between 2 persons—also known as rape—can bring punishments including years in state prison. Punishments are especially severe when the victim is a child.
In some circumstances involving adults, however, defendants in a sexual assault case have a legal right to pre-trial options known as deferred adjudication.
To avoid a trial, some defendants—particularly first-time offenders—can seek the option of pleading guilty or no contest in exchange for a judge imposing the alternative of deferred adjudication.
This means the defendant might be required to meet certain terms of community supervision or probation, as well as to attend educational programs or to perform community service tasks. In that way, the court would defer finding guilt in a trial by letting the defendant comply with such alternatives.
When such compliance is accomplished, the case can be dismissed by the judge and the defendant would not be considered to have a conviction, though the criminal charge would stay on his or her record.
When to hire an experienced sex crime defense lawyer
If you or a member of your family faces a charge of sexual assault or some other sex crime, you need an experienced sex crime defense lawyer to protect your legal rights.
Persons living in the Houston area or in Fort Bend County or Montgomery County can contact the award-winning Neal Davis Law Firm today to arrange a private and confidential consultation for their case.