The sexual misconduct allegations brought against film producer Harvey Weinstein in October have triggered an influx of claims from people in the entertainment industry, and even the political realm, against dozens of others. New stories are coming out each day, companies are taken action against those accused, and lawmakers are paying attention.
If you are accused of sexual abuse, you should not take these allegations lightly. The criminal penalties and the negative stigma associated with this charge can adversely affect your life forever.
Fortunately, having an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side can help you obtain the most favorable outcome possible. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, there may be different defense options available to you.
Common defenses against sexual abuse allegations include:
- False allegations – There are many cases where people are falsely accused of some sort of personal gain by the accusing party. Your lawyer could question the alleged victim’s motivation for making the accusation. Any motivates, such as a custody dispute or financial benefit, could bring the accuser’s testimony into question.
- Consent – On the other hand, there are some cases where the defendants will admit to the misconduct in question, but argue that the victim’s consent negates the charges. Additionally, forensic evidence demonstrating your involvement in a sexual encounter with the victim no longer matters unless it shows force was used.
- Mistaken identity – Just because someone claims you were the one who sexually abused them or that they saw you sexually abusing someone else does not mean you had anything to do with the incident. Eyewitness testimony can be unreliable at times and people are subject to mistaken identity issues frequently.
- Insufficient evidence – If your accuser doesn’t have any medical evidence to support their claim because he or she failed to get medical attention after the alleged incident, or if there were no witnesses at the scene of the alleged incident, then you may have a strong case that there isn’t enough evidence for a conviction.