After-school programs are usually a positive thing for a community. Parents who can’t be home from work have a place to send their kids for the few hours before they get home; students get a chance to do homework early, or take a break and have fun with their friends; and those who volunteer to work with these young girls and boys get to engage in a rewarding program that helps turn those children into young adults.
However, working with children sometimes results in a situation that is dangerous for the children, the adults involved, or both. In the case of one Los Angeles man, his time in an after-school program could be what sends him to prison. Daniel Ayon, 39, is facing charges that he sexually abused four boys while he worked as an after-school program supervisor for an elementary school in Gardena.
Serious Charges for the Supervisor
Ayon faces six felony counts: one count of oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child ages 10 years or younger, two counts of continuous sexual abuse, and three counts of lewd acts with a child under the age of 14. Ayon has pleaded not guilty to all counts, and is being held on $3 million bail.
The charges he faces could result in him serving decades in prison, thousands of dollars in fines, and a lifetime on the sex offender registry. [Penal Code Section 290]
How Can He Defend Against the Charges?
In sexual abuse cases involving minors, physical evidence can be the most damaging to a defendant’s case. Evidence that can reveal the DNA of the perpetrator, such as blood or other bodily fluids, hair, or skin can be enough circumstantial evidence to show that a crime took place. If there is no physical evidence, then the case often becomes one of the complaining witness’s word against the defendant, and those cases are more difficult for a prosecutor to prove.
Generally, defending against charges such as the ones Ayon faces can be defended in a number of ways. Mistaken identity and false accusations are common defenses. Occasionally, there is a breakdown in communication between the adult and the minor that leads the minor to believe that an act that had innocent intentions, like placing a hand on the child’s shoulder or giving the child a hug, is one that was sexually motivated.
Can I Protect Myself from Charges Like This?
If you work with children in any school setting, there are some basic steps you can take to help protect yourself from false accusations of sexual misconduct. Most importantly, never be alone with a child, and if that is unavoidable, be sure you are in place where you can be easily seen, such as a classroom with an open door, or outdoors in public view. Do not communicate directly with children when they are outside of the program; instead, be sure to run all communications through the child’s parent or guardian. If a student threatens you with an accusation because you denied him or her permission to do something, report it to a supervisor immediately.
Contact the Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich For Help
An accusation of sexually abusing a child can be absolutely devastating to your career, your relationships and your freedom. If you or someone you care about is accused of a sex crime against a child, do not hesitate to bring in an experienced sex crimes defense attorney as soon as possible. At Wallin & Klarich, we have over 35 years of experience in helping clients fight against charges of sexual misconduct with children. We work tirelessly and use all of our legal skill and knowledge to help our clients achieve the best possible outcome in their cases. Let our skilled attorneys and legal professionals help you, too.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance, and Victorville, there is an experienced and skilled Wallin & Klarich sex crimes defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.
Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free, no-obligation phone consultation. We will get through this together.