Stephen Collins, well known for the acting role he played as pastor and
dad on "7th Heaven," allegedly confessed to his now estranged
wife back in 2012 that he had been a child molester. This recent revelation
became public this week as a result of a tape recording made secretly
by his wife when he confessed to her at the time.
His wife, Grant, is now estranged from Collins, and has released the recording
to the NYPD who are conducting a criminal investigation into his alleged
sexual contact with several underage children.
After his confession, the couple attended a therapy session to try to resolve
the issue. Unbeknown to Collins, Grant recorded the whole session which
included many graphic descriptions of his encounters.
This all took place in California, where Grant was told by her attorney
that taping the therapy session was quite legal if the person had taken
part in violent felony, which includes the molesting of children less
than 14 years of age.
Currently, the NYPD possesses the tape, and last week two NYPD Special
Victims Unit detectives flew to Los Angeles to interview Grant. There
are, it appears, at least three New York children involved. The investigation
being conducted apparently comes under the heading "inappropriate
sexual contact with minors."
Collins sits on the National Board of the Screen Actors Guild and often
meets with young actresses. As well as "7th Heaven," he appeared
on "The Fosters," an ABC program about the raising of some young
children in a foster home. More recently he has played a role in the show
"Revolution," which includes underage actors.
Child sexual abuse in all states of the U.S. carries harsh penalties and
if it has involved sexual penetration with a child it is considered to
be rape. Each state has its own terms for classifying child sexual molestation.
In New York, sexual assault of this type is classified as second degree
sexual abuse and the sentencing judge can decide on the sentence which
is a minimum of 12 months in jail. In Florida, it is classified as lewd
or lascivious conduct.
When someone is charged with a sex crime, especially if it involves underage
children, there are other things to consider apart from the penalties
attached to the crime. A stigma is attached to this person and people
often don't want them even living in their neighborhood, as they fear
for their own children's safety.
If you have been accused of a sex crime against a child it is of the greatest
importance that you make use of all available resources to fight your
case. You will need to have a strong defense built on your behalf so that
you can protect your future. A crime such as the one that Stephen Collins
has allegedly committed can destroy your career, your family relations
and your reputation. By taking on the services of an experienced defense
attorney as soon after your arrest as possible, you have a better chance
of having the charges withdrawn or reduced. Sex crimes of all types often
involve bitterness and exaggeration on behalf of the plaintiff, so it
is only through the use of an experienced defense attorney that the true
situation will be revealed and a correct verdict made in court.