What Is Involved if the Case is Prosecuted
Sexual assault is a crime that is prosecuted by the State of Indiana. If criminal charges are filed, a prosecutor, not a private attorney, will try the case. You, the victim, are considered to be a witness for the state.
A series of hearings will be scheduled and a trial may be held or the defendant may enter into a plea negotiation. If the case is filed in Porter County, a victim advocate will contact you to answer questions and provide information. You have the right to attend all open court hearings and to have someone with you at that time. You have the right to be notified of any plea discussions, plea contents, or recommendations in felony cases.
If the defendant is found guilty or changes his or her plea, there will be a sentencing hearing at which you will have the right to make a Victim Impact Statement, either in writing or orally.
If the case goes to trial, you and other witnesses will be required to testify. The defendant is not required to testify. The Prosecutor's Office will go over the trial process with you. You will have the opportunity to visit the courtroom and review your police statements and depositions so that you will know what to expect.
There is also the possibility that the prosecutor will decide not to file charges. This doesn't mean that the prosecutor thinks the charge is false. It may mean that there is not enough evidence for the case to be prosecuted successfully and you are entitled to be given a reason why the charges were not filed.