Steps to Take After You’re Accused of Sexual Assault
False allegations of sexual assault happen. Accusers motivated by anger or jealousy may make fraudulent accusations out of spite or because it could help them with future legal battles (such as child custody). If you suspect someone is trying to falsely accuse you of rape or indecent assault and battery, you need to start protecting yourself.
You can help your defense exponentially if you:
- DO NOT contact your accuser. It’s natural to want to talk to the person making the allegations against you to clear up the misunderstanding. However, attempting to reach your accuser—or sending a friend or relative to talk to them—can worsen the situation. Do not text, call, or email the accuser or anyone connected with them, or give a prosecutor any reason to accuse you of intimidating witnesses.
- DO NOT make statements about the incident. You may want to reassure people in your life that the accusations aren’t true, give them the “real story,” or vent your anger or frustration over the incident. Unfortunately, anything you say—be it online, to a friend, or to law enforcement—can be used by the prosecution in court.
- DO NOT talk to the police. The police may come to your house and invite you to “clear things up” down at the station. These police interviews are recorded and used in evidence and should never occur without an attorney present. Instead of making a statement to the police, invoke your right to silence and request that police contact your counsel.
- DO collect evidence. The alleged victim’s testimony is a powerful piece of evidence, and you will need something to refute the claims made in court. Any physical evidence you have that the act was consensual, did not involve you, or was invented by the accuser will be invaluable. For example, previous text messages between you and the accuser showing a motive for false accusations (such as divorce proceedings) can place doubt in the jury’s minds.
- DO create a timeline. The prosecution will pick through the details of the incident to show their client in the best possible light. You can create a complete picture of what happened by documenting the experience step-by-step, including as many details as possible.
- DO make a list of potential witnesses. Other people who can corroborate your story are important witnesses, such as restaurant servers or mutual friends. Make a list of people who were present on the day of the incident (and their names and contact information), so they can be called as witnesses. If you were somewhere else when the assault took place, a witness could be used to support your alibi. Try to think of anyone else who could provide relevant testimony, such as someone falsely accused of the same crime by the same person.
- DO call an attorney. Every day you wait to hire an attorney, you risk social stigma, registration on the sex offender list, and several years in prison. Our legal team can start an immediate investigation into the case, working on getting the charges against you dropped or reduced.
Once you have been charged with sexual assault, the accuser will not be able to drop the charges against you. At Nate Amendola Defense, we stay by your side throughout the process and provide aggressive advocacy to protect you and your future. Contact us today to set up your free case review and see how we can help you.