Properly Investigating a Sex Crime Allegation When the Defendant Knows the Victim
Many rape allegations occur where both parties know each other. Date-rape and parent-child accusations are two common examples. At Jensen Legal, we view cases where the defendant credibly comes into our office claiming either consensual sexual contact or fabrication of the incident. In both instances, we require the defendant to tell us why the victim may have been motivated to make this false accusation. For example, cases involving infidelity may cause the victim to attempt to protect their image. Another common instance of rape allegation occurs in a parent-child relationship where the parent does not approve of the teenager’s partner or where the parent places restrictions on privileges. In all these instances, the defense is waiting for the victim to admit they made a false accusation.
Great care must be used by the defendant, the defendant’s family, and the defense attorney to keep a good image while the case is being investigated. Slanderous and offensive phrases that accuse the victim of promiscuity or falsehood are almost guaranteed to harm the overall defense strategy of the defendant.
One of the best defense strategies is to wait for a guilty victim’s recantation. For instance, a teenage victim may confide in their peers that they made a false accusation. The amount of time this takes varies depend on the amount of support the victim has from their community. In order to use this in a defense, a credible defense witness must be available. The witness must be friendly with the defense, and needs to commit to a statement in order to be credible. Investigating the people around the victim for this information is the best chance at finding out if the recantation was made.
These types of cases make having a strong defense attorney and investigation technique necessary. It’s imperative that the attorney convey to the defense that a recantation could happen and to watch for signs. Investigators are not allowed to keep a person under surveillance if it offends people around them. Moreover, it’s not productive investigation if the victim knows you’re watching.
Sex offense cases are very stressful, particularly when you are stating it never occurred. Good attorney, client, and family management of the case is critical. Every case is different and unique.
Have any questions? In need of a dependable criminal defense lawyer? Give Jensen Legal a call at 206-617-9173 or contact us online.