A three-judge panel rejected the appeal of a Lancaster man earlier this month who sought to have his conviction overturned. A Lancaster jury convicted Joseph Cornett of sex crimes involving separate attacks on 15 year old girls in 2015. He posed as a police officer and “arrested” one of his victims as she walked down the street. The girl was able to escape and sought help nearby. Cornett attempted to flee the scene in his vehicle, but drove through some sand and got stuck. Responding officers arrested him.
Initially, Cornett refused to leave his cell for sentencing. The judge ordered him to be forcibly removed from his cell and brought to court. The trial judge sentenced Cornett, who is HIV-positive, to 100 years in prison following his convictions in each case. Cornett repeatedly challenged the judge, who called Cornett a “monster” and said that the crimes were among the most brutal the judge had seen.
Cornett claimed that he was high on PCP at the time of the attacks, and that the victims had willingly entered his vehicle, so he did not kidnap them. He appealed the guilty verdicts, saying that the trial judge did not allow the jury to see evidence about one of the victims, taken from her Facebook page. The appeals panel indicated in its ruling that the evidence against Cornett was overwhelming, and declined to alter the original sentences.
Lancaster sex crimes attorney
Californians are entitled to an appeal following a criminal conviction. An appeal is not a chance to re-try a case to get a better result. Instead, the appeals process determines whether trial mistakes occurred, and if those mistakes influenced the trial court’s verdict. The best way to eliminate the need for an appeal is to work with an aggressive, experienced criminal defense attorney during your trial. Robert Helfend is an experienced sex crimes attorney. He takes cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.
Some defense attorneys avoid taking sex crimes cases. Mr. Helfend does not judge his clients based on accusations against them. Instead, he works hard to ensure that the trial court properly includes and excludes evidence. He bases his defense on the facts of the case.
Don’t settle for an attorney who doesn’t want to defend you aggressively. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273- 5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County sex crimes case.
Photo Credit: paolo.r, via Flickr.com