Sexual assault is a serious allegation. In 2014 there were about 30,000 sexual assault cases in the United States alone. That is a staggering number. However, studies have shown that up to 10% of these cases are false allegations. Today we are going to examine what you should do if you are the target of false sexual assault allegations. There are some things you are going to want to do to protect yourself in these cases.
“I Didn’t Do It!”
Some people assume guilt in sexual assault cases. After all, it is an easy stance to take. Sexual assault is a terrible crime to commit. But, what happened to “innocent until proven guilty?” Just a few weeks ago in Rhode Island, a woman claimed to have been sexually assaulted by three African American men. Upon further questioning, the police immediately found out that she made up the entire story. Why someone would make such allegations when they are obviously false is a question only she can answer.
However, some allegations are much more complex. For instance, when a woman decides after the fact that the sex was not consensual. These cases occur often, and they make proving innocence much more difficult. So let’s discuss what you should do if you find yourself in a situation like this.
False Sexual Assault Charges: What You Should Do
The problem with sexual assault cases is that it is much easier to believe the victim. Many people will ask “why would they make that up?” You also have to take into account that men are for the most part stronger than women and that makes them at least capable of committing such a crime. Given this information, it is easy to see why a police officer may be more inclined to believe the victim. However, false sexual assault allegations can be devastating. If you or a loved one is the victim of false sexual assault allegations here are the steps that you should take:
- Hire an attorney immediately. Find an attorney with experience and the qualifications to defend you in court. An attorney with experience can help guide you in the right direction and determine the best plan for your defense.
- Realize the importance of the allegations. While the allegations may not be true, this doesn’t mean that they are just going to go away. You need to face the sexual assault allegations head on and not hide your head in the sand waiting for them to pass.
- Prepare the cost of your defense. Your attorney may need expert witness testimony, special psychological tests, and other evidence collection. You should prepare for these costs.
- Document your case. Write down everything that you can remember. Leave nothing out. There are no small unimportant details. Anything that you can remember may help your case.
- Compile a list of witnesses.
- Educate yourself and know your rights.
- You have the right to remain silent and you should. Don’t answer any questions the police may ask you. Your attorney should be present for all interactions with the police so they can help you to not incriminate yourself.
Possible Defenses Against Sexual Assault
The most common defense in sexual assault cases is consent. If your attorney is able to prove that the sex was consensual it can not be sexual assault.
Another common defense in sexual assault cases is Mistake of Fact. A Mistake of Fact defense centers around proving that the defendant believed in his/her mind that there was consent. There are a number of different ways to achieve a Mistake of Fact defense. Examples include, but are not limited to actions, overall demeanor, body language, clothing, and statements made by the victim. There is also the possibility of proving this defense through the victim’s failure to express a lack of consent or any previous consensual sexual encounters between the two parties.
Going in you should know that sexual assault charges are serious. As such they carry with them serious penalties. If you are found guilty of sexual assault you can face up to ten years in prison. Ten years is a long time for a crime you didn’t commit so it is important to hire an attorney.
How Calcagni Law Can Help
Calcagni Law has decades of experience from both sides of the courtroom. Having an attorney with experience prosecuting sexual assault cases can be invaluable. He now uses his extensive knowledge of how the prosecution team works to formulate the best possible defense for your case. False sexual assault allegations can ruin your life if you do not find a sexual assault attorney that can defend you properly. Contact us today so we can help you beat the false allegations. Don’t wait until it is too late to seek help.