False Rape Accusations
Stop and think about this for a second: How do you prove something did not happen? Proving a negative is often a hard thing to do. Now 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 percent of accusations are completely fabricated.
A false accusation of a sex crime immediately changes lives. Everyday concerns go out the window as very real threats emerge to the accused’s way of life. 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 individual’s life and reputation.
The Texas Association Against Sexual Assault gives several reasons false accusations are made including: to hurt the accused; to benefit the accuser financially; to protect the accuser from ridicule; or 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.
A juror’s gut reaction may be, “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. The allegations may stem from “dating remorse” or a child being directed by another adult to make an untrue statement. 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.
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.
Don't 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.
Don't talk to CPS
Child abuse investigations are most often conducted by a police agency working hand-in-hand with Child Protective Services. For instance, in the Tarrant County Area, you may get a call from someone at Alliance for Children (Address: 908 Southland Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76104Phone: (817) 335-7172) asking you to come down and give a statement. What they won’t tell you is that in addition to the conversation with CPS being recorded, there will be a detective waiting in the wings, watching, who will also come in and try to get you to answer questions.
Don't talk to a Detective
Whether a detective is waiting for you at Alliance for Children, comes by your house, or calls you, do not talk to the detective. Immediately call our office at (817) 203-2220. The detective will attempt to engage in a conversation with you, in person, to “get your side of the story.” In hundreds of investigations that we have reviewed, never once has a person talked their way out of a charge. Do not make the mistake of believing the truth will set you free.
Expect an Arrest is Forthcoming
Whether you talk to the detective or not, you will be arrested at a later time. The detective won’t arrest you right there because the detective does not have to give you Miranda warnings when you engaged in a consensual conversation that you were free to leave at any time. If you have an attorney, your attorney may be able to negotiate your surrender instead of you being arrested at home or at work. The attorney can also walk you through the bond process.
You will need to make bond
Given the nature of the allegation, you will not be able to do a walk-though. You will have to make a bond and will be in custody at least one night. Call us to find out how you can minimize your time in custody.
You will lose access to your children
In the short term, not cooperating with the investigation will result in a child safety plan being put in place that will mean you cannot be around your children and you will have to find a new place to live away from them. Additionally, once your case is filed you will have bond conditions that will limit your ability to be around anyone under the age of 18.
You need an attorney.
This may seem obvious but before you consider talking to CPS, a detective, or even a bondsman, you should call an attorney. One of the biggest mistakes a person can make is to talk to a detective or CPS without hiring an attorney.
Call us at (817) 203-2220 for a complimentary strategy session. Our team of former prosecutors and Board Certified Criminal Lawyers are here to help. During this call we will:
- Discuss the facts of your case;
- Discuss the legal issues involved, including the direct and collateral consequences of the allegation; and
- Discuss the defenses that apply to your plan and in general terms discuss our approach to your case.
You can also contact us online:
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.
Also published on Medium.