On Monday, October 21, 2013 Cee Lo Green entered a not guilty plea after being charged with one count of furnishing ecstasy to a female “victim.” The prosecutors allege that Cee Lo “slipped” ecstasy to a woman while they were having dinner in downtown Los Angeles. They then returned to her hotel room where they had sex. Prosecutors did not have enough evidence to go forward with a felony rape charge against Cee Lo, but he will still have to defend the drug charge.
Although this charge carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison, the media often exaggerates this type of celebrity case. Our office is experienced in handling high profile criminal cases, and we understand how the media deals with potential sentencing. It is factually true that if convicted, Cee Lo faces a maximum of four years in prison. However, it is not technically accurate because he is very likely eligible for diversion. Even if Cee Lo is not eligible for diversion, he will most certainly be given a sentence of probation.
The more interesting point in this case, is why the prosecution cannot move forward on the rape allegations. We know that sex cases are very difficult to prove, as the Offices of Jeffery K. Rubenstein successfully represented Devon Ebanks against false rape allegations last year.
The initial burden of proof for the prosecution to pursue charges is “probable cause.” This burden means it is more likely than not that the allegations are true. Sex accusation cases end up being a he-said-she-said situation. Cee Lo would argue that the sex was consensual and the female partner would argue that she didn’t consent. Without any witnesses or other corroborating evidence, the burden of proof becomes very difficult to overcome.
When high profile celebrities are involved, the likelihood of falsities is even higher. As Rubenstein commented during his representation of Ebanks, “Everyone in this city knows that high profile people are often targets for those seeking money or attention.”
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