Being falsely accused of any crime can be a terrible experience, but being falsely accused of a sex crime takes things to another level. Not without understandable reasons, society at large stigmatizes those who are convicted of sex crimes. They are often made pariahs in their communities and face real limitations on where they can live and work due to legal infrastructure like the sex offender registry.
However, it’s not just those convicted of sex crimes who suffer consequences. In many cases, a mere accusation against someone is enough for them to lose their job, friends, and even family members. These effects can be amplified if an accusation results in criminal charges – and all before there’s even a trial to determine whether or not someone is guilty of their alleged offenses.
If you are falsely accused of a sex crime, you aren’t alone. While the majority of accusations reported hold water, a not-insignificant percentage of them are false. Despite your actual responsibility for an alleged sex crime, catching criminal charges means you could be facing serious consequences – especially if you are accused of particularly serious sex offenses like rape or anything involving a child.
Why False Accusations Occur
False accusations occur for a number of reasons. One of the most common reasons why someone might make a false accusation of a sex crime is if they wish to harm someone else. Because a conviction for a sex crime can mean years in prison and a loss of certain rights, an alleged victim may create a plausible-sounding story or twist the narrative to incriminate someone else.
In some cases, someone may accuse someone else of a sex crime if they regret an otherwise consensual sexual encounter. Such could be the case if the alleged victim is cheating on a spouse and doesn’t want to face the consequences of their infidelity. They may also hold strong religious convictions against sex and make a false accusation of a sex crime to avoid being ostracized by their family or community.
Less frequently, false accusations can occur when an alleged victim of a sex crime misidentifies someone as the offender but earnestly believes them to be responsible. This can happen when the alleged victim is inebriated or under the influence of drugs or is assaulted in a dark or dimly lit area and fails to accurately identify the assailant.
What Should I Do If I Am Falsely Accused of a Sex Crime?
Whether the allegations against you are hushed rumors or actual criminal charges, there are a few important things you should do:
- Retain legal representation: By contacting a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible, you can protect yourself against unnecessary scrutiny and unfair investigatory tactics.
- Don’t help the investigation against you: Remember that investigators are looking for evidence that will convict you. By speaking with the police and providing unnecessary information or commentary about the allegations, you can put yourself at risk of a conviction. Cooperate with police to the extent it takes to ask for your lawyer, who will guide you through the next steps.
- Get your version of events straight: As soon as possible, develop a timeline of events that happened before, during, and after the alleged incident. Make sure you write down everything in as much detail as possible so that your memory won’t blur over time. You can also protect yourself against scrutiny by making sure you know your side of the story as soon as possible and sticking to it.
- Identify witnesses: Your defense lawyer will want to contact anyone who can attest to the facts you laid out in your version of events. Try to remember everyone who you interacted with or might have seen you during the alleged incident and can vouch for you.
- Avoid contact with your accuser: It may be tempting to contact your accuser in an attempt to get them to drop the charges, but this may only make things worse. It’s generally safe to avoid contacting your accuser, but consult with your attorney for guidance.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you are accused of a sex crime and need legal representation, reach out to Hester Law Group today. Our team of criminal defense attorneys can apply their many years of experience to your defense, helping you to avoid or mitigate your responsibility for a false sex crime allegation.
For more information about how Hester Law Group can help, contact us online.