If you have been charged with a crime of a sexual nature, you may believe that since there is little or no tangible evidence, the chances of being convicted are not very high. The truth is, conviction probabilities vary in different situations, and knowing how to approach each circumstance will help you through your trial.
Child sexual abuse is a crime treated second only to murder in the judicial system and requires little or no physical evidence for a conviction. Conviction can depend to the testimony of the victim, and because many victims are reluctant to testify in front of their abusers, they are allowed to be videotaped. This means that you lose the right to confront your accuser.
While the effort to protect children from this heinous crime is worthy, it can be tough luck for you if you are falsely accused. A child can be psychologically manipulated to believe incidents of abuse occurred. If you work with children, or are a foster parent, a rumor could get started or an allegation could be made that could have disastrous repercussions. Also, sometimes in the midst of a divorce, an ex-spouse could be working on getting your child to accuse you in order to gain sole custody or part of a parental alienation strategy.
Sexual assault cases are difficult because they often involve both credibility and reputations of persons involved with the balance swinging towards the accuser. Although controversial, statistics indicate that from 2% to 10% of rape accusations are false.
A sexual assault case is bolstered by medical and DNA evidence and eye witness testimony, but victim testimony alone can be sufficient if the jury is convinced that their story is credible. Even if you are not convicted, the accusation harms your reputation as well as causes psychological stress.
To live freely involves certain risk, but caution about many situations is wise.
If you are getting a divorce, avoid using a domineering, aggressive stance in custody negotiations, and be open to mediation or other peaceful ways of resolving this issue.
If you work with children, you should try to have most, if not all, interactions with them be in the sight of other workers. Foster children can use a false accusation to circumvent strict rules or avoid consequences for their behavior, and they may have been abused in the past. If you sense that is the case, you could make sure they are receiving counseling to help them move beyond it.
If you are a single person and dating, protect yourself. Get to know the person first before being intimate with them, and avoid being alone with persons who could possibly have mental disorders.
Response to False Accusations
If you are concerned that you may be accused of sexual crime by someone in particular, consult a criminal defense lawyer promptly to discuss the details and receive specific legal advice for the situation you are in. Avoid being naive about the presumption of your innocence.
One of the most important things to do if questioned by the police about an incident is to insist on an attorney being present before talking (unless someone is in immediate danger of being harmed). Display a calm demeanor throughout the investigation because angry or emotional displays might work against you. If you have been accused of sexual assault or feel you might be charged, contact a professional criminal law firm like Law Office of Michael Marinaro & Associates to start building your case.