Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Possible Defenses for Sexual Offenses
As much as the victim has the right to file a complaint regarding a sex crime, there is also an opportunity for the accused to defend themselves. This right to defense is especially important against false accusations, precisely because the impact on their life as a convicted sex offender could be very severe.
Element of Consent
Often allegations of sexual assault amount to a “he said-she said” kind of argument. Gathering evidence for this can be tricky because the victim’s consent may be revoked at any time during a sexual encounter. In these types of cases, therefore, even a sexual encounter that began as consensual could lead to criminal charges if the alleged victim claims that he/she said “no” and the defendant didn’t stop. .
However, if the victim in question is a minor, then the element of consent is not a proper defense, because according to the law, a minor is not legally capable of giving consent, especially to acts sexual in nature.
Another possible defense is mental incapacity, which basically allows the defendant to claim temporary insanity or that he has a mental illness that hinders him from making rational decisions and actions.
If a Defendant pleads not guilty to the charge and maintains his or her innocence, the State will be required to prove to a jury that the defendant committed the crime alleged “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.” The defendant is not required to prove their own innocence, but can assist the jury in their determination through circumstances and evidence presented at trial tending to show that the State’s version of events isn’t correct.
Hiring an experienced sex crimes attorney is critical for those charged with such serious crimes in order to achieve the best possible outcome.