False allegations of a sex crime can have dire consequences. You face severe criminal penalties if you are convicted. However, even if you aren’t found guilty, your reputation may be ruined to your friends, family, coworkers, or the entire community.
You must fight back against a false sex crime accusation. Your entire life is on the line. With the help of an experienced sex crime defense attorney, you can protect yourself.
Call Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC today at (412) 281-2146 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
Common Sex Crime Charges After False Allegations
Many charges are considered sex crimes in Pennsylvania. Each crime has individual elements that the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt to obtain a conviction. Some of the most common false sex crimes allegations include:
- Sexual assault
- Statutory rape
- Indecent assault
- Aggravated indecent assault
- Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse
- Illegal sexting
- Unlawful contact with a minor
- Child pornography
- Internet sex crimes
The state has the burden of proving that you committed these crimes. The prosecutor must prove to the jury that you committed the crime.
Why Would Someone Falsely Accuse you of a sex crime?
False accusations about a sex crime generally happen for two reasons: false memories and intentionally inaccurate allegations.
False Memories of a Sex Crime
If a person genuinely believes they were the victim of a sex crime, but the facts don’t meet the requirements of the crime, they may have “false memories.” The human brain is very complex. Sometimes it generates ideas that feel real, even if the person did not experience the event as they recall.
False memories often occur when a person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, mentally incapacitated, or very young. Another person may manipulate these people into believing they were sexually assaulted or the victim of another sex crime. Because their minds are not fully competent, they are more vulnerable to false memory implantation.
Intentional False Reports of Sex Crimes
Most false allegations involve a person intentionally lying about being the victim of sexual assault or rape. They may claim to have been victimized and even file a false police report.
This can lead to an innocent person being arrested and ultimately convicted of a sex crime they didn’t commit.
False sex crime reports are often motivated by the following:
- Toxic ex or relationship
- Monetary gain
- To get attention
- Regret for having consensual sex
- To generate sympathy
- Mental instability
- To gain leverage in a divorce or custody case
In some cases, the defendant may not have had sex with the alleged victim at all. In others, consensual sex did occur, but the situation did not fulfill the elements of a sex crime.
In either event, you need to contact a sex crimes lawyer who can conduct a thorough investigation and develop strong defenses on your behalf.
What to Do When Facing False Accusations in PA
When facing sex crimes charges, you should tread carefully. Knowing what to do or not to do can significantly improve your chances in a legal situation.
Don’t Talk to the Victim to ‘Clear the Air’
You may think this entire situation is a big misunderstanding. However, you should never try to contact the victim. No matter why the accuser made the false allegations, they are not trying to be your friend and make amends. Allow your attorney to handle all communication with other people involved.
Document Your Version of the Events
If something happens that you suspect may warrant false allegations or someone threatens to press charges, you should immediately sit down and write out your version of what happened.
You should include specific dates and times and any witnesses you can remember. Small details may not seem important, but when evidence is used to support your case, the more detailed, the better.
Turn Over All Evidence You Have to Your Attorney
Your attorney is on your side and will try to get you the best outcome possible. You should be open with your lawyer and give them all your evidence.
Your communication with your attorney is privileged and cannot be discovered in court. You should always tell your attorney everything that happened.
Hire an Attorney for False Allegations As Soon As Possible
Although the court can appoint a public defender to your case, they will likely be extremely busy with their caseload. Your best option is to hire a criminal defense attorney who will dedicate the necessary time and resources to your case.
Your sex crimes lawyer can conduct an independent investigation to find out what happened and develop defenses on your behalf.
How to Defend Against False Allegations of Sex Crimes PA
Developing strategic defenses in sex crimes cases requires extensive knowledge of the law. Your attorney needs to have experience with cases like yours. Some possible defenses in sex crimes cases include:
- You have an alibi. If you were somewhere else or with someone at the time of the crime, you could present evidence that you were not even present when the sex crime occurred.
- The sexual contact was consensual. Lack of consent is a required element of most sex crimes. If the prosecution cannot prove that you forced the intimate interaction, you cannot be found guilty.
- You acted in duress. If you were coerced or forced to commit the acts you are being accused of, you may not be held responsible for the crime.
- It is impossible for you to have committed the crime. If there is no physical way you could have committed the alleged crime, you may not be found guilty. For example, if you are impotent, you cannot have penetrated the alleged victim.
- You are not guilty by reason of insanity. If you are found mentally unable to understand the nature of the crime, or the crime was committed due to your mental incapacity, you may not be held responsible.
- You were involuntarily intoxicated. If someone drugged you or forced you to consume alcohol, you may not be responsible for the resulting crime.
Are False Accusations Illegal in PA?
If you are falsely accused of a sex crime, your attorney can help you get a not-guilty verdict. This will help you avoid all the criminal penalties of a conviction.
However, your reputation will still be damaged with your friends, family, coworkers, and community. For this reason, you can act against your accuser for their false allegations.
You can sue the fake victim in a defamation case. This civil court case will allow you to recover compensation for any damages you have incurred. You may have lost your job or lost out on significant life opportunities because of the false allegations. You can recover financial damages to compensate you for these losses.
If the person making false allegations against you was an ex or co-parent, you might gain leverage in the divorce or custody hearing. The family court will have the power to consider the fake criminal charges when determining the outcome of your domestic relations cases.
Contact an Attorney for Falsely Allegations Today
Many people face false allegations of crimes. When they involve sex crimes, they have the potential to ruin your entire life. The best step you can take when you find out you’re being accused is to call a sex crimes defense attorney who will guide you through the criminal process and help you understand your options.
Call Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC today at (412) 281-2146 or contact us online for a consultation.