Ex-Wrestling Coach Convicted of the Sexual Assault of a 16-Year-Old

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Jun 24, 2024 | 0 Comments

A Columbia, PA man, John Wakefield Jr., has been sentenced to prison for 5-12 years after he was arraigned on sexual assault charges, and the courts found him guilty of sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl. He'll also be registered as a sex offender.

The abuse, which lasted seven months (February to September 2022) and included aggravated indecent assault and statutory sexual assault, ended when the victim hid a recording device in the room where the final assault occurred.

The Law Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team can defend your rights and provide the legal support you require if you've been charged. Call 888-535-3686 or contact us here for a case evaluation.

The victim gave the recording over to a neighbor who contacted the police and had Mr. Wakefield arrested. However, during the court proceedings, the 48-year-old Mr Wakefield and his wife testified that he was merely participating in “wrestling” activities with the minor as he was a former wrestling coach.

If you have been accused of sexual assault or abuse, you may face criminal charges. You may also face lifelong stigma and other far-reaching effects of a sexual assault conviction. Therefore, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense team to protect your rights and provide legal representation.

What the Law Says About the Sexual Assault of a Minor

While New Jersey law states that the age of sexual consent is 16 years, there are exceptions to this rule. One exception is that there can be no sexual relations between anyone under 18 years old and a relative, someone in authority, or someone meant to care for them.

The consequences of a sexual crime conviction are quite severe. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the defendant, if convicted, can be given a prison sentence of up to 20 years and made to pay an additional fine of up to $150,000, with no option of early release.

However, that's not all. The court may also compel you to register as a sex offender under Megan's Law. This is where the real problem begins. You will likely suffer additional consequences, such as the inability to secure home and car loans, employment, accommodation, and other benefits.

You may also be stripped of your civil liberties, including the right to move around freely, vie for a public position, carry a firearm, or participate in jury duties. It's very serious stuff with worse implications.

Facing a Sexual Crime Allegation?

If you are currently charged with allegations of sexual assault or other sexual crimes, you need all the help you can get. Good legal representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney can reduce your sentence and fine.

For instance, knocking down a charge from first-degree aggravated sexual assault to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct can be the difference between a 20-year jail time and a less harsh sentence.

Need help with fighting sexual assault allegations? Contact the Law Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team today. Call 888-535-3686 or fill out our case evaluation form to get the legal help you need.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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