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What to Do If You’re Falsely Accused of Rape

False sexual assault allegations are extremely rare, but they do happen. The rise of the Me Too Movement has empowered many women to face sexual predators. Unfortunately, it’s also led to a surge of sexual assault allegations. It seems many rape accusations are falling into the “court of public opinion,” making it much more difficult.

Many men have suffered due to false rape allegations. Chris Hardwick, an TV host for the show “Talking Dead,” was recently accused of sexual assault by his ex-girlfriend. The allegations lead to him temporarily losing his show and San Diego Comic-Con dropping him from panels. The claims were later determined to be baseless.  

A former high school football standout, Brian Banks, was falsely convicted of sexual assault. He had pleaded no contest after being charged with kidnapping and rape by another classmate. Banks had to forfeit his offer to play for the University of Southern California (USC) and his freedom for nearly ten years. The alleged victim later admitted she was never kidnapped or raped. The encounter was completely consensual and Banks conviction was dismissed. 

The majority of sexual assault cases are founded on testimony from the victim. It can be difficult to prove you were innocent when your fate rests solely on “he-said, she-said” hearsay. So, how do you fight false rape allegations? The first step is to acquire experienced legal counsel. An experienced attorney can analyze the prosecution’s evidence to discover any inconsistencies.


Motivations for False Sexual Assault Allegations

It’s important to understand the legal definition of sexual assault. Texas Penal Code defines sexual assault as engaging in sexual activity with another person without their consent. You can also be charged with sexual assault if the victim was unable to give their consent. Some examples of this include if the victim was drugged or they were mentally incapacitated. 

Since a large part of the sexual assault statute surrounds consent, this means the majority of evidence used will be testimony. The alleged victim will likely be on the stand or give their deposition for the case. Analyzing testimony is an excellent way for defense attorneys to find inconsistencies and possible motivations for false accusations. 

Many people have undergone sexual assault charges because their partner was seeking revenge. It could occur because a divorce was pending, the relationship was suffering or possibly for no reason at all. In some cases, the alleged victim may have lied on impulse and never anticipated the issue coming to court. Some people have even coerced children into giving false testimony for the sake of revenge against another parent or family member. 

An attorney can aggressively cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses. They can also present expert testimony if the alleged victim has a history of habitually lying or mental illness. Not only this, but an attorney can subpoena call logs and messages to prove the sexual activity was consensual.


Defending Against Physical Evidence of Rape

The majority of sexual assault cases rely on testimony. However, physical evidence can come into play. Physical trauma on an alleged victim or the physical presence of bodily fluids is compelling evidence for a jury. If a rape kit has been analyzed, it can be the downfall for your case. 

Fortunately, just because physical evidence is present doesn’t mean the case is unwinnable. Just as some victims are willing to seek revenge, others may even go as far as to hurt themselves to create a more convincing story. An attorney can call in an expert to determine if the wounds were self-inflicted or stemmed from sexual abuse.

If only topical injuries are present such as bruises or scratches, then an attorney may be able to argue these injuries were from an attack but not an assault. You might have your charges reduced to assault or another lesser crime.

Some alleged victims of sexual assault don’t have physical injuries. Instead they argue the rape occurred because of the presence of bodily fluids. An attorney can maintain the fluids are indistinguishable from consensual intercourse. This can be proven by the testimony of a physician or expert.

If you’ve been accused of sexual assault, don’t panic. Even if there’s physical evidence it doesn’t mean you’re doomed. With strong representation and a detailed defense plan, you can fight your criminal charges. To speak with a reputable attorney call (713) 225-8000 today. 


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Matt Horak Matt Horak is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2014