In a post #metoo society, there has been a dramatic increase in reports of sexual assault worldwide. Most of these reported incidents are genuine, detailing deplorable acts. However, along with the increase in authentic reports of sexual assault, there has also been an uptick in the number of fabricated or false accusations.
First of all, we must clarify before going any further that it is always important to listen to victims, trust survivors, and treat every accusation as potentially authentic. If one were to act to the contrary, choosing instead always to disbelieve victims of sexual assault, we would indeed be living in a rape culture that gave more of a benefit of the doubt to predators than to their survivors.
That being said, however, the false allegations are a real problem.
Year to year, approximately 15% to 20% of all sexual assault allegations are actually false. Even so, only one in 20 sexual assaults are ever reported to the police, so the number of authentic sexual assaults is actually probably much higher.
If you’ve been wrongfully accused of sexual assault, it’s important to take steps to clear your name both in the court of criminal opinion and within criminal courts.
What Are Common Fabricated Sexual Assault Allegations?
Common examples of sexual assault allegations include:
- Criminal sexual assault, such as multiple assaults of strangers.
- High school sexual assault allegations.
- History of sexual assault offences.
- Sexual assault in a college environment.
- Sexual misconduct at the workplace.
- Sexual misconduct within the family unit at home.
What is the ‘Presumption of Innocence?’
While it is essential that you take the allegations of sexual abuse seriously, it’s also important to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The burden of proof is on the Crown prosecutors to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you committed the crimes you’ve been accused of.
That said, the court of public opinion can be far less forgiving. While you may eventually prove your innocence in a courtroom, the public may have decided your guilt long ago. That’s why it’s crucial that you seek legal representation early on to protect your reputation in and out of the courtrooms.
Should You Attempt to Clear Your Name with the Police if You Know You’re Innocent?
You have the right to remain silent and should strongly consider exercising that right immediately. Anything you say to the police, media, co-workers, family, or friends could be used against you in court.
Understandably, you may feel tempted to defend your name publicly. Try to resist that impulse, though. Your words can be twisted and used against you by anyone who opposes you.
If people come to you asking questions, direct their inquiries to your lawyer instead.
Is it Necessary to Hire a Criminal Defence Lawyer?
Yes. If you’ve been accused of sexual assault, you must consult an experienced criminal defence lawyer about your case. It doesn’t matter if you know you’re innocent or if you believe the accuser is doing this as a vengeful stunt. It doesn’t matter if you think the facts support your side. Your need for a lawyer is paramount.
Contact our law firm today to learn how we might be able to lend assistance to you and your case.
Contact William Jaksa Criminal Litigation to Begin Building Your Criminal Defence Case Today
Just as it is essential to believe victims of sexual assault, it’s important to also believe those who have been falsely accused. Both are victims of injustice, and both deserve decency from the courts. Sadly, however, victims of fabricated allegations are rarely afforded such apologies.
With strong legal representation, it is possible to defend your interests and potentially pursue damages if it’s proven that the other party intentionally misled authorities in an attempt to defame you.
William Jaksa has nearly two decades of experience as a criminal defence lawyer. He has the knowledge to confidently handle your case, leaving no stone unturned in pursuing your goals.
Call our law firm today at 647-951-8078.