People are wrongfully accused of criminal behavior far too often in the U.S. Sometimes these allegations are made to purposefully ruin someone's life and other times they are the result of a shoddy or flawed investigation.
In either scenario, it can be crucial for a person facing these wrongful allegations to act fast and speak with an attorney to defend themselves. With the appropriate resources and legal knowledge, it can be possible to find discrepancies, mistakes or outright lies in the prosecution's case and seek a dismissal or reduction of charges.
According to a report titled, "Investigating Child Sexual Abuse Allegations: Do Experts Agree on Anything?" there are several problems with how these particularly sensitive situations are investigated.
The author of the report notes that one serious obstacle that may contribute to ineffective or prejudicial investigation tactics centers around the so-called "moral panic" associated with these situations. This panic is based on the fact that adults may fail to be objective because they want to be protective of the children.
Because of this, it can be crucial to scrutinize investigations into claims of sex abuse to look for potential issues. For example, some factors that can lead to wrongful allegations might include:
- Biased investigator
- Improperly trained forensic interviewer
- Failure to identify false statements by children
- Failure to properly establish that a child knows the difference between the truth and a lie
- Use of age-inappropriate tools during interviews with the child
- Not allowing the child to express him or herself through a free narrative
- Conducting an interview without recording it
Each of these failures or improper acts can lead to the furthering of false charges and it is generally accepted by experts in the investigation of child sex abuse that these decisions or mistakes should always be avoided. If not, false or insignificant information could be propping up the prosecution's case. Unchallenged, the information could then lead to conviction.
If you have recently been accused of sexually abusing a minor, you are undoubtedly in a very serious situation and may feel defeated and judged before you even go to trial. However, you should remember that you have the right to legal counsel to defend yourself against the allegations. Working with an attorney can be crucial in avoiding a conviction on wrongful charges.