How often do you see sex crime cases where drugs and alcohol were involved in an alleged offense? How does that impact the case?
A good portion of sex related offenses involve drugs or alcohol. A lot of people in Los Angeles County are meeting other people on dating applications, which leads to people getting together to go out to a bar and drink.
When something happens between the two parties and one of the parties is not happy with what happened, then they are claiming that they were sexually assaulted because they consumed so much alcohol or drugs that they couldn't consent to sexual activity.
They begin to send text messages accusing the other person of doing something wrong or calling the client with the police on the other line, hoping that they will admit wrongdoing or say that they're sorry. The police get a recording of confirmation that foul play went down.
Any time you are going to meet someone for the first time and you are drinking or using drugs, you put yourself in a vulnerable position because that person can turn it around on you.
The next thing you know, they are being examined by a nurse to see if there is any evidence of sexual activity. You are approached by the police, asking whether or not you did anything sexual with the person.
A lot of times, the alleged victim can't even remember whether or not they had any sexual intercourse. If you tell the police that you had consensual sex, you have given the police half of what they need to build a case against you.
You need to get an experienced sex crimes attorney involved right away, so that you can get a game plan together as to exactly how you are going to handle the police coming in trying to talk to you or the other person trying to call or text you.
Usually, the most damning evidence in a sex crime case is the defendant's own statement, especially if they give a statement that is in any way inconsistent with other evidence, which makes it look like they are lying.
Discrediting Witness in Sexual Related Crimes
I am falsely accused by a child of sex abuse. How can my defense attorney handle discrediting this witness without actually hurting the accuser?
When the accuser is a child, you have to look for the motive for these accusations. Is there a divorce going on? Did a parent of the child give the child information that is not accurate?
Perhaps the child is being abused by someone else and has been influenced into thinking that you are part of what happened to them. There are many reasons for someone to make false sexual allegations.
They do not realize the seriousness of such an act. Oftentimes, they are simply angry at the other person for an unrelated reason and accuse the person of engaging in some sort of sexual activity with them as retaliation.
We must look at the surrounding circumstances in deciding how to approach a child accuser. Just like any other witness, the prosecutors are going to have to put that young person on the witness stand to testify.
You have to be careful, when you cross-examine a young person, not to come off as being in attack mode and not to put yourself in a position where a judge or a jury feels like you are not being appropriate with that young person.
It is my job, as a sex crime defense attorney, to employ that strategy. You only want to go on the offensive in a sex crime case. You need to get a good strategy together that makes sense based on the facts and circumstances in your case. Having handled these types of cases for 26 years, I am able to help you decide exactly what the best course of action is.
False Memory in Sex Crime Cases
What is a false memory as it relates to a sex crime charge? How can this possibly be used in my defense?
When someone was asleep or intoxicated during an incident or is recalling something that happened a long time ago, their brain tends to fill in the gaps with facts that are not accurate. Maybe they wake up feeling uneasy and they believe that they did not consent to the previous night's sexual encounter.
They are frustrated because they can't remember what happened, since they were intoxicated, and now, they are trying to piece together what happened and this is where the false memory issues can come in.
A lot of times, they bridge gaps in their memory with facts that simply are not true and the defense can exploit that in a witness by showing inconsistency with their memory. They have to have an independent memory of the facts and circumstances relating to what happened and if they don't, they need to be honest about that.
False Allegations of Sexually Abusing Own Children
I'm going through a divorce and my soon-to-be-ex is falsely accusing me of sexually abusing our children. Will the prosecutor consider any of this or charging me in my case?
The prosecutor should consider that there is a divorce going on and that there may be false allegations. Unfortunately, a lot of times, once they decide that a person must be guilty, they center their case around proving guilt versus trying to figure out what the truth is.
That is where the defense comes in and why you need an attorney to get on the case early. That gives us the opportunity to do an investigation parallel to the police's investigation.
Many times, I can submit that to the police or the prosecutors and show them what is really going on. Obviously, the wife or significant other in a case is not going to admit to police that they were trying to twist things to gain an advantage in a divorce situation, but they might admit it to me.
Your criminal defense attorney is there to put evidence together in a logical manner that makes sense. You are just rambling off a bunch of facts. Police and prosecutors may feel like you are just trying to defend yourself and refuse to take you and your evidence seriously.
Whereas a criminal defense attorney is going to put it together into a nice, neat argument for the prosecutor to understand. When there is a defense attorney to challenge a prosecutor's case, they are more likely to thoroughly investigate it.
They do not want to be in a position where they wasted resources and charged someone with a very serious crime, only to lose the case.