Back on January 14th, Balboa Park saw a very scary scene, no matter which way you look at it. A 21-year-old woman was enjoying a jog through the park when she was jumped from behind by a man named Ameen Bryant. The documented gang member held her down and attempted to put dirt in her mouth as she screamed out for help.
Eventually, Bryant was scared off by other joggers who arrived on the scene. He ran away, holding his pants up as he escaped. Fortunately, DNA was recovered from the woman’s face which allowed police to make a positive ID and arrest Bryant on the charge assault with the attempt to rape.
Although this may seem like a clear-cut case for the prosecution, it’s a good example of how the right legal team can make a big difference. Bryant’s attorney, Richard Jayakumar, is making the argument that the charges are a mistake, the result of police assuming they knew his client’s intentions. Instead, says Jayakumar, his client meant to mug the jogger, hoping to take her cell phone and then sell it for drug money.
Since he was seven, his attorney states, Bryant has been doing drugs and stealing, the result of a troubled childhood. So he arrived at Balboa Park that day with the intention of finding an easy target who would accommodate his two criminal pastimes. It should be noted, too, that he is currently on parole for a robbery he committed in 2012.
While this may seem like a troubling example of a savvy lawyer twisting the law, it’s important not to make any assumptions. Though Bryant obviously committed a crime that day, it serves no one to sentence him for the wrong one. The justice system will run its course as it’s supposed to and Bryant will spend as much as 12 years in prison, depending on the conviction.
The point to take from this example is that you should always have a qualified attorney on call who can not only represent your rights, but understands how the legal system works. Otherwise, you could easily be found guilty for a crime you never committed because you simply didn’t know better.