False Rape Accusations
Stop and think about this for a second: How do you prove something did not happen? What about proving that a rape, or any sexual accusation, especially one involving a child, did not occur? Multiple studies suggest that 8% to 10% of accusations are completely fabricated. That means one out of every ten accused individuals is innocent of the charge against them.
While 1 in 10 may not seem like a high number, a false accusation of sexual assault changes their life immediately. Everyday concerns go out the window as very real threats to one’s way of life emerge. Just the accusation of a sexual crime jeopardizes careers, marriages, and reputations. More than any other type of crime, an accusation of sexual wrongdoing destroys a person’s life.
A juror’s gut reaction may be “how could they put themselves in a position where an accusation could even be made?” or “what motive would the accuser have to lie?” Of all the cases tried in a criminal court, sexual crimes are the most difficult charges for jurors to maintain the “innocent until proven guilty” presumption.
False accusations of rape, sexual assault, or sex crimes involving children occur every day. From “dating remorse” to a child being directed by another adult to offer false testimony, making a false report is too easy. Once a false report is made, the accuser often feels their only way out is to dig deeper into the lie. The Texas Association Against Sexual Assault gives several reasons false accusations are made including malicious accusation to hurt the accused; accusations to benefit the accuser either financially or to protect the accuser from ridicule; or accusations due to psychological problems. Additionally accusations of sexual misconduct frequently come up in divorce or child custody cases, student-teacher relationships, employer-employee relationships and in any other context where the accuser may have a motive to lie.
Tips if you are accused of rape:
Do not talk to the police without an attorney. This is the single-most important thing to remember when you are being accused of any offense, especially offenses of a sexual nature. Most people do not realize the police are allowed to lie to you. They can tell you anything to elicit a response. Do not respond to their questions. Do not provide them with any information.
Immediately contact an attorney.
Your attorney will be able to start gathering evidence, witnesses statements, and forensic data.
Time is of the essence.
Time is of the essence. For felony offenses, the case must be presented to the grand jury before the case makes it to a felony court. In some cases, a favorable outcome may be obtained by moving quickly and working the case pre-indictment. In some instances, an experienced defense attorney may be able to obtain a No-Bill from the grand jury before the case ever gets to a felony court due to a lack of evidence against you. Whether the case is a misdemeanor or a felony, your attorney will be able to begin the fact-finding process and bring scientific experts in to review the forensic and DNA evidence to make sure no stone is left unturned in your defense.
Do not contact the accuser.
Talk to your attorney about your case so he/she can guide you through both what to expect during the investigation and the pendency of the case against you.
We'll say it again: Don't talk.
If you are arrested, do not talk to anyone besides your attorney about the allegation. Jail phone calls are recorded and there is no such thing as private communication inside the jail. While you are in custody, the only privacy that will be afforded to you is communication protected by the attorney-client privilege.
I’m innocent. Should I talk to the police?
Past Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson once said, “Any lawyer worth salt will tell the suspect in no uncertain terms to make no statements to the police under any circumstances.” While a person’s gut feeling may be that they have nothing to hide, or that the “truth will set them free,” know that a statement to the police will never assist you. While statements against you will come into court as a hearsay exception – statements made against self-interest, self-serving statements will be kept out of court with a hearsay objection. In other words, a statement to the police can only hurt you. Do not fool yourself into thinking that telling the officer or detective the truth will help you get out of custody. It will not keep you from being arrested.
Review on a sexual assault case:
Title: Sexual Assault Dismissed
My name is James, and I was recently falsely accused of aggravated sexual assault to a child. Due to the seriousness of these horrendous accusations, I poured much time and effort into researching local law firms for my defense. In doing so, this process lead me to Varghese and Summmersett, specifically, Leticia Martinez and Christy Jack. After speaking with both ladies in a short interview, there was no doubt in my mind that they were the ones I would choose.
Having no experience whatsoever in such serious legal matters, I was completely and utterly ignorant to this process. Not only did both Christy and Letty provide exemplary legal counsel, but they also had a very personable and compassionate side. Their attention to detail while putting together my defense was unlike anything I have ever experienced. Christy and Letty’s work ethic went above and beyond the norm while providing countless hours, which included, nights, weekends, and 4 am mornings.
Ultimately, their efforts resulted in the successful dismissal of these serious false accusations. This exoneration gave me my life back, and I will be forever grateful to these two intelligent women.