The Sex Crime Stigma for the Wrongfully Accused
Wrongfully Accused of a Sex Crime in Indiana?
Obviously, a blog like this can be difficult to write and read. That’s because there are hundreds of thousands of legitimately-reported, fully and rightfully prosecuted sex crimes cases across this country on any given year. And, without question, those cases are incredibly sad to hear about and can be difficult to be a part of as defense attorneys. This blog is not meant to take away from all those victims who are given justice by the prosecution of sexual offenders who have been proven to commit sex-based crimes. Rather this blog is meant to address those occasions when sex-based accusations are not authentic, and are done for ignorant, nefarious and/or unconscionable reasons. As everyone knows, false accusations can ruin a life, and that’s why this blog is being written.
So why is a false accusation so terrible? More often than not, when anyone hears that someone they know or see on the news has been accused of a sex crime, that person almost in the same thought immediately assumes that person is guilty. Sadly, juries do the exact same thing even though they are instructed not to repeatedly in jury instructions. There have actually been studies done on this very issue. People think that you don’t get accused of a sex-based crime unless you did “something wrong to deserve it.” Many times juries will justify convicting someone just because the alleged victim had to come to court and testify…almost as a way to punish the defendant for exercising their constitutional right. There are many cases that have been overturned on appeal for insufficiency of the evidence purposes where juries overlooked contradictory testimony, bias, and other evidentiary issues because they couldn’t overcome the bias they came in with — that 99% of defendants accused of sex-based crimes are guilty.
After all, who gets accused of a sex crime they didn’t commit, right? Unfortunately, many, many people fall prey to false accusations. That’s why as criminal defense attorneys, we represent many, many people charged with sex-based crimes (both rightfully and wrongfully accused). And, with the ramifications as high as they are (to name a few) — jail; high fines; felony convictions; sex registry; public shaming and humiliation; loss of employment and future employment potential; limitations on living requirements, travel, access to children (even biological); and loss of civil rights like voting, possessing firearms, etc. — it’s no wonder people fight so hard to deny them.
But why would someone falsely accuse someone of a sex crime, right? Be it for vindictive reasons, forgetfulness, intoxication, and/or excusatory reasons, you’d be surprised how often it happens. That’s why it’s often said that sex crimes are easily filed, easily charged, are equally hard to fight and defend, but nevertheless they have life-lasting ramifications. The Duke Lacrosse often comes to mind. And, in all honesty, there are still probably 10-25% of the population that think the college kids were let off the hook and probably committed the offense charged, even after being exonerated….again, proof of sex-based accusation bias.
That’s why it’s crucially important that an experienced sex crimes attorney and/or criminal defense attorney be retained. Why? Because an experienced sex crimes lawyer knows how to poke holes in cases and find the weak links of false accusations. Below are a few tools a good sex crimes lawyer will use to fight your case (but by no stretch a complete list):
- A thorough review of discovered evidence from the State
- Phone records subpoenaed through third parties
- 3rd party requests for discovery and subpoena duces tecums
- Social media post investigations
- Cell phone photos and videos
- Thorough review of forensic, sexual-based interviews of witnesses and victim
- Taped statements/depositions – using prior sworn statements to find inconsistencies
- Private investigators
- Evidence of bias such as divorces, monetary incentive, new romantic relationships, etc.
- 9-1-1 calls, CAD descriptions
- Character witnesses of the accused where appropriate
- Medical records of the alleged victims and state witnesses
- Privately conducted polygraph tests (defense attorneys must be careful with these as they are generally not admissible unless stipulated to by both the state and the defense)
- DNA and other scientifically-based evidentiary techniques (DNA has caused numerous reversals on appeal for people convicted prior to DNA testing…however, prosecutors may still pursue the case even if DNA is not conducted or inconclusive)
- Expert witnesses specializing in sex-based crimes
- Demonstrative exhibits at trial
The experienced sex crimes attorneys at Banks & Brower, LLC have successfully litigated numerous sex-based crimes with great results. If you or a loved one is facing an accusation of having committed a sex-based crime, give our offices a call to arrange a free initial consultation. Email or call us 24/7/365 at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317.870.0019. Whether you are wrongfully accused and/or fear that you may be culpable, we represent anyone and everyone, regardless of guilt or innocence. We stand ready to help you through this difficult time.