In late July, a 23-year-old San Mateo man, Anthony Dorton, was acquitted by a jury of assaulting and making criminal threats against a prostitute. Dorton had no previous criminal record. The woman accusing Dorton of the alleged offenses claimed that he beat her and forced her into prostitution. San Mateo criminal defense attorneys know that when a prosecutor’s case relies mostly on the victim’s testimony, the defense team can often tear down his or her credibility. In order to find the accused individual guilty of the charges, it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
In this case, Dorton was acquitted after evidence was introduced by his defense lawyer revealing that the woman was working as a pimp, and had not been truthful regarding her prostitution activities. It was also found that although Dorton supposedly forced the alleged victim into prostitution, she was continuing to advertise her services as the trial proceeded.
Dorton had met the woman only 11 days prior to being arrested. His girlfriend had been approached by the alleged victim, who told her she didn’t have a home. Dorton’s girlfriend then took the woman in to the home he and his girlfriend shared. According to reports, when Dorton would not give the alleged victim a ride one evening, she made accusations that he beat her.
The alleged victim denied ever being a prostitute prior to coming to the Bay Area. However, defense attorneys provided numerous pieces of evidence contradicting the woman’s statements. Facebook comments were introduced in which the alleged victim said she was a pimp, along with ads posted on prostitution sites revealing her phone number and photos.
Dorton was acquitted by the jury of charges of assault, criminal threats and dissuading a witness. He was initially arrested on September 19, 2011 after the alleged victim claimed that Dorton had pulled her out of his car by the hair, took her cell phone and beat her in the head after throwing her to the ground.
As this story proves, having a capable San Mateo criminal defense lawyer who is capable of aggressive cross-examination can mean the difference between your freedom and a conviction which would result in severe penalties including prison time and a permanent criminal record. Consult with a skilled attorney if you have been accused of or arrested for any criminal offense.