False Allegations and Sexual Assault
Each week, thousands of people across Florida are arrested for a multitude of offenses and a substantial number of these arrests are based on the accusations of individuals. While many of these allegations are valid and stem from substantiated events, others are made out of retaliation, mistake or even malice. When wrongful accusations occur, innocent people are forced to defend their names, their finances and their freedom based on the false allegations of another. Knowledgeable defense attorneys understand this dynamic and its potential implications for a defendant.
Sexual assault is one area of law where false allegations commonly occur. In 2010, an NBC news affiliate reported about a warning from the Orlando Police Department. Authorities declared that false rape reporting was at an epidemic level and cautioned citizens that arrests and prosecution would ensue. The news conference was held in response to an allegation by an 18-year-old female. She reportedly admitted to making the claim in an attempt at getting attention from an ex-boyfriend.
The Damage of a False Accusation
False accusations can create serious consequences for the defendant and the community.
- Wasted resources – Valuable law enforcement efforts are taken away from real cases to work on fraudulent claims of assault.
- Tainted perception – Each false allegation story makes it more difficult for real victims because the public begins to perceive all victims as dishonest and untrustworthy.
- Cost of defense – Accused parties must defend their innocence, regardless of whether the allegations are falsified. This places a financial burden on the defendant, in the form of legal costs, time away from work and, in some situations, the loss of employment.
- Tarnished reputation – Many sexual assault accusations immediately make the news. Defendants can be convicted in the court of public opinion before they ever step into a courtroom. Even with a positive case outcome, the effects of the allegation may persist.
Sometimes, the wrongful accuser isn’t a girlfriend, boyfriend or lover. False allegations can even come from a family member, which was the situation in a Florida case covered by The Times Herald. A severely autistic teenager accused her father of raping her, while her mother allowed the assault to happen. When details of the accusation and circumstances around it were carefully examined, attorneys discovered that a caregiver for the child assisted her in typing out her claim. The court reportedly determine that the assistant improperly guided the written words and statements of the autistic disabled individual.
Defending Against a Rape Accusation
Defense attorneys must walk a fine line when defending sexual assault cases. It is important to aggressively question the motives of the accuser without appearing abusive to the court or the public. To find the right lawyer for the job, choose someone who is knowledgeable and experienced in the defense of sexual assault cases.
If you or a loved one is facing sexual assault charges, our Miami attorneys can provide you with an aggressive and comprehensive defense. Contact Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC today at (305) 330-3905 for a confidential and free consultation.