The previous post discussed unfounded rape accusations and the terrible implications they have for the falsely accused. However, even more frightening and dire is the false child molestation accusation.
Child Sexual Abuse Charges
When someone is accused of sexual abuse of a child, the legal and public response is swift and vicious. When an allegation of child molestation is made, the protection of the child is of utmost importance. However, in an instance of false child sexual abuse claims, the constitutional rights of the accused are frequently trampled.
Under the United States justice system, the accused is supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, in the case of lewd acts with minors, it usually falls on the accused to prove his own innocence, which can be difficult to do in the absence of physical evidence.
Fighting These Charges
Additionally, one has the right to face his or her accusers; with allegations of child sexual assault, however, the protection of the child trumps the rights of the accused, and accusers are often allowed to testify outside the courtroom or via video. In fact, in Garfield County, Oklahoma child accusers testify from a forensic interview room, accompanied by "specially trained law enforcement and child protective personnel," who generally automatically assume the child is telling the truth.
There are several reasons someone may be the target of false accusations of child molestation:
- One parent accuses another during a custody dispute
- A child fabricates the incident after coercive interviewing
- A child invents the incident after hearing stories of similar allegations of child sexual assault
- An adult accuses another for revenge or retaliation
- A child accuses an adult for revenge or retaliation
Regardless of the reason for the accusation, the consequences of a false sex abuse claim are far more serious for the accused than the accuser, even if the story is proven false. The accuser may be charged with the misdemeanor of making a false report, but the accused will have often lost his job, his family, and his freedom by the time the truth comes to light.
Legal Defense Options
If you are wrongfully accused of child sexual assault in Oklahoma, do not speak with the authorities about your situation until you have found an experienced defense lawyer with a proven record of success. Your words--even proclamations of innocence--will be used against you by those who assume your guilt. Your sex crimes defense attorney will help you navigate the system to avoid a wrongful conviction.