An attempted sexual assault in Massachusetts was recently stopped when a nearby man heard the victim screaming and intervened, allowing the woman to escape. The official reports claim that the woman was attacked from behind in the early morning, beaten and dragged into a nearby alley. The attack was caught on camera, but police had no luck locating the assailant and were unable to arrest anyone for the crime.

A few days later, a Massachusetts resident walked into the police station and claimed that he had been in the area as the attack occurred. He offered information about the attack in exchange for a reward, but the police were skeptical about his claims. They questioned him for hours, ultimately arresting him and charging him with assault. Police noted that the man had a criminal record, but he has plead not guilty to the charges.

This kind of story can be frightening to any Massachusetts resident, but particularly those with a criminal record, as it indicates that police are inherently suspicious or skeptical of those with such a record. This man’s story may well be true, and he could have provided vital information about the attack. Instead, he is now under arrest and facing serious criminal charges.

It sends a strange message that may be concerning to people: if you know too much about a crime, you could be suspected of committing it, especially if you have a criminal record. However, this does not mean that you should not speak up if you truly have information that can assist in an investigation. Instead, individuals who are accused of a crime are encouraged to consult with an attorney to discuss the aspects of their case. Legal assistance can help such individuals prove their innocence.

Source: CBS News, “Mass. sex assault suspect caught after seeking reward from police,” Aug. 25, 2015