If you have been falsely accused of a child sex crime, sex crime against an adult or any family violence offense, such as sexual abuse of a child, statutory rape, online solicitation of a minor, child pornography offenses, sexual assault, date rape, domestic violence, child abuse and indecent exposure, you will undoubtedly have many questions about the criminal process and matters pertaining to your case.
"*" indicates required fields
Dealing with false allegations of sexual assault can be very daunting and trying, and you may wonder what your options are and how you can avoid a conviction for the heinous crimes against you. Although looking online is a great place to start searching for answers to your questions about sex crime allegations, there is no replacement to consulting with an attorney who will be able to answer your specific questions that are applicable only in your particular situation.
Texas Child Sexual Abuse Questions and Answers
Contact Dunham & Jones, Attorneys at Law for a consultation about your questions regarding false accusations child sex abuse, sex assault on an adult or domestic violence offense in Texas.
The attorneys of Dunham & Jones are aggressive family violence lawyers who will make every effort to fight the false allegations you are facing. Contact Dunham & Jones for a free consultation today at 800-499-8455 if you have questions about you’re the false sex crime or family violence allegations against you in Texas.
- Why Should I Hire a False Allegation Specialist?
- Is it Necessary to Have an Attorney Who is Located in the County Where the Prosecution is Based and is Familiar with the Judge and Prosecutor for Child Sexual Abuse Charges?
- The Medical Examination of the Child Says “No Injuries”; So How Can The State Prosecute?
- Will the Child Be Able to Testify?
- The Alleged Victim is Sexually Active, Will Her Sexual Activity Be Admissible in Court?
Child sexual abuse is different than any other kind of criminal allegation. The same constitutional rights of presumption of innocence, burden of proof on the state beyond a reasonable doubt, jury of your peers, and confrontation of the witnesses against you all appear on paper. However, in reality, these rights are eradicated when one is charged with child molestation. The defendant is presumed guilty in reality. An attorney must know how to defend these specialized charges against tremendous odds. The deck is often stacked against the defendant and the prejudicial impact of the charge is a difficult obstacle the defense must overcome. These cases cannot be defended like the typical driving while intoxicated, theft, assault or even murder case.
The attorney must know how and be efficient in cross examining specialized witnesses presented by the state, both expert and lay person witnesses. The defense attorney must be adept at cross examining a child witness. The state will present experts not seen in other criminal cases such as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, a Forensic Interviewer, a Child Protective Services Caseworker, a Child Psychologist, a Child Advocacy Center Expert, a Law Enforcement Crimes Against Children Investigator, and many other similar experts. The inability to effectively cross examine these types witnesses can be fatal to the defense.
Is it Necessary to Have an Attorney Who is Located in the County Where the Prosecution is Based and is Familiar with the Judge and Prosecutor for Child Sexual Abuse Charges?
No. There is no home-field advantage to a child sexual abuse charge. There is no advantage to knowing the judge or prosecutor when it comes to these charges. A case will not be treated more leniently because the defense attorney is on a first name basis with court personnel. The state and court will generally be aggressive against these offenses and familiarity with the players is of no real value. In fact, an outside criminal defense attorney who does not care about a long term relationship with the prosecutor or judge is advantageous to the client.
Our law firm has no allegiance to anybody except for the client. We are not in the defense of false allegation business to be liked by the state. We are in this business to aggressively represent the client against the prejudicial tactics of the government.
The older the child, the more likely it is that a medical examination will not reveal any physical sign of injury. The most common medical reports state, “No observed injuries, thus the observations are consistent with sexual abuse.”
How can no observed injury be consistent with sexual abuse? The vaginal area of a female child is very vascular and heals rapidly. If the examination is not done within a short period of time from the alleged incident, typically no injuries will be found.
There is a difference between what the sexual assault nurse examiner for the state will testify to and what is actually true about physical injuries. Our team knows that medical evidence should be expected to be found under certain circumstances and we have experts who will testify to the truth.
Typically yes. However, this is an area the state is trying harder and harder to avoid. The defendant has a constitutional right to confront the witnesses against him at trial. This is known as the confrontation clause of the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. However, state legislation has found alternative methods of proof of a child’s statement to be constitutional depending on the circumstances. If the state follows mandated procedure, the child may testify by closed circuit television or by videotaped deposition from a qualified child interviewer.
This is often a hot area of contention as the state is trying harder and harder to keep the child off the witness stand. The state knows the defense can establish the child is lying or mistaken if given the right to fully cross examine the child. Therefore, the prosecution attempts to avoid compliance with the confrontation clause by using alternative methods that are not as damaging to its case as live testimony.
An example of this is the recent Texas case of Coronado v. State, No. 0644-10 ( 9/14/11) in which the trial court allowed the prosecution to present written interrogatories rather than live testimony. The trial court allowed the state to admit the child’s videotaped interviews with a child abuse forensic examiner instead of requiring the live testimony of the child. The Texas Court of Appeals found no error with this procedure. Fortunately, for now at least, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals disagreed and held that constitutionally-adequate cross examination could not be accomplished through written interrogatories posed by a seemingly neutral forensic interviewer more than a year after the initial interview of the child.
Probably not. Each state has their own version of a rape shield statute in which the sexual activity of the complaining witness is typically found to not be legally relevant. In Texas, the rape shield statute is found in Rule 412 of the Texas Rules of Evidence.