Our nation goes extremely out-of-control and over-the-top when it comes to sex crimes against children.
Yes, they are awful, heinous, sad, unfortunate, or whatever term you want to call them when they do happen.
But, the problem is authorities and the public judge you guilty without knowing any of the facts. A clever child who wants to get revenge, but doesn’t understand the gravity of their situation, knows they can cause a lot of harm simply by accusing someone else of molesting them.
You might have heard the public story about Jared Fogle, the long-time spokesman for Subway. In his case, he admitted guilt, having sex with 16 and 17-year-olds, and receiving child porn. The story is he got more than 400 child porn videos from the person who runs his charity. He also paid $1.4 million in restitution to 14 of his victims. He ended up with a sentence of 15-and-a-half years, a minimum of 13 to be served and lifetime supervised release.
In his case, the punishment appears to fit the crime. Depending on the true number of victims, you might actually argue it wasn’t harsh enough.
But, that’s not how many of these situations go. In fact, researchers have found at least 2,000 false convictions of child sex crimes from 1979 – 2012.
And the real number may be much higher!
What Should You Do If Authorities Contact You about an Alleged Child Sex Crime?
The #1 rule to always follow is this: don’t talk to anyone about the accusation.
Not the police. Not your spouse. Not your friends. Not your neighbor. Not your coworker.
Authorities will find and question these people and use what they say against you. The other person may also misunderstand what you meant to say. And if they talk to authorities, they may gave incriminating evidence when you don’t deserve to have any against you.
For example, you might say you were alone with a child on a certain night of the week. That could be construed to be presented as a time when the sex abuse occurred.
And if you do talk to authorities, remember how hard it is to stand up for yourself. You may think that because the police seem so nice, they’ll work with you, trying to get to the truth of the matter. That doesn’t happen many times. Instead, they question you aggressively, trying to get a confession out of you. And many people simply aren’t strong enough to say nothing and walk out.
Police do this because they’re not hired to find innocent people. They’re hired to find the “bad guys” and “lock ‘em up and throw away the key.” They only look good when they put criminals away.
The minute you’re aware of this type of accusation against you, contact an attorney experienced in defending against child sex crimes. They can advise you on who you should talk to and what you should say.
What Should You Do If Your Employer Confronts You?
Say your supervisor, someone from HR or another administrator says they suspect you of a sex crime against a child. You don’t have a chance to talk to your lawyer first. If you think you could get fired for not responding to the questions immediately, use your own discretion in answering those questions.
It’s a difficult situation because your employer could turn those answers over to law enforcement, where they get used against you. You can offer minimal information. Or, if you learn about rumors floating around your office, you could contact an attorney at that point.
What Other Steps Can You Take?
After you contact an attorney, you can do a number of other things to begin building your defense. Here’s what to think about and gather:
- Any physical evidence that demonstrates your relationship with the alleged victim, which could include photos, videos, toys, gifts, or clothing
- Documents that could serve as proof of your whereabouts during the alleged time of the crime (emails, letters, videos, GPS records, changed computer files)
- A list of witnesses, and their contact information, who could testify to your relationship between you and the child
If you are 100% innocent, the biggest threat to your case is the child’s treating professional. They have the least training in proper investigation, but their opinions still hold a lot of weight in court. In reality, they end up putting enormous pressure on the child to disclose information that incriminates you, and being a child, they often cave in. Insist on being involved in the treatment process.
What Attorney Kent Starr May Do to Help You Defend Yourself
In every situation, it’s important that a just outcome happens for all parties.
But in reality, laws get enforced on an arbitrary basis because prosecutors have a wide range of discretion. Most victims, and even perpetrators, will go along with what’s said because they believe the legal system works to “protect and serve.”
Not true in many cases!
So, depending on the circumstances surrounding your situation, Kent may:
- Investigate whether the child chose to lie, and why
- See if the child has been aggressively coached on what they should say
- Learn if the child misunderstood the physical contact that happened
- Look for possible alibis on your behalf
- Do a forensic taped interview
- Examine whether physical evidence shows you actually committed the crime
With Kent, nearly every client does not spend even a single day in jail for crimes related to the sexual assault of a child. And that includes clients who even admitted to investigators they committed the crimes they were accused of.
That’s the difference a criminal defense attorney makes. Make sure you have one because it could mean going free, instead of spending 20 years in the slammer.