When facing sexual misconduct charges, you must contact a reputable and award-winning Michigan sex crimes defense law firm, such as George Law. The criminal defense attorneys at George Law will carefully review your case and the evidence against you. George Law’s defense lawyers will develop a powerful rebuttal to these hurtful charges. A well-crafted defense can reduce your charges, dismissal of your case, or a finding of not guilty by the jury. Bear in mind that the availability of defense depends on the nature of your circumstances. Below are common defenses against sex crime charges.
Statute Of Limitations
If you have followed the news in recent years (e.g., the Me Too Movement and Time’s Up), women have felt empowered to bring sexual assault charges against attackers that stem from many years ago. Some of these allegations supposedly occurred decades prior. In some of these cases, the state cannot pursue charges against the accused person because of how much time has passed. Once this deadline passes, a prosecutor cannot file charges. This time is known as the statute of limitations. There is a statute of limitations for every offense.
In Michigan, the statute of limitations prevents an accuser from lodging a criminal case from being brought against you if too much time passes, absent limited exceptions. If a prosecutor files the charges past the statute of limitations, then your attorney will argue for your case to be dismissed on those grounds alone. A successful example is when multimillionaire rapper T.I. had his cases thrown out because his accusers brought them after the deadline had passed.
You may argue that the sexual intercourse was consensual unless mental incapacitation or age prevented the other party from being free to give consent. The threat of force also prevents the other party from being free to give consent. Thus, consent is not a viable defense in a statutory rape case.
Earlier this year, it made headlines when a woman accused multimillionaire singer Chris Brown of raping her while on P. Diddy’s yacht. She pursued a twenty-million-dollar lawsuit against him. March 2022, Chris Brown’s defense team shared voice messages and texts between Chris Brown and the alleged victim where she admitted that she only wanted to have sex with him again and that she made the false accusation because he was giving her “mixed signals.” Once these communications came to light, the alleged victim’s attorneys promptly put an end to represent her.
It is not implausible that the alleged victim is vindicative and seeks nothing more than to ruin your life. Unfortunately, some supposed victims have lied through their teeth so that the penal system arrested, prosecuted, and sentenced to years in prison an otherwise innocent person. This can happen after a tumultuous breakup or after one partner learns that you’ve been having an affair. Whatever the reason, the bottom line is that if someone has a vendetta against you, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that this person will make a false accusation.
Thankfully, you and your attorney can prove that the accusation is false. Documenting and saving voice messages, social media messages, and other information, such as dated pictures of you two jovially corresponding or socializing after the alleged sexual assault, can all be used for your benefit. Your defense team will see that they crush the deceptive victim’s credibility. However, suppose the alleged victim’s credibility is tarnished because the lies are exposed. In that case, the prosecutor should dismiss your case, and the state may bring felony false reporting charges against the deceitful victim.
Not all sex crimes take place between people who know each other. It is not uncommon for sex crimes, such as rape, to occur between strangers. The lack of familiarity is common where the rapist is a burglar or other assailant. Due to these occurrences, rape victims can wrongfully identify the suspect. Remember that many criminals wear masks, especially when breaking into someone’s home or targeting someone taking a midnight stroll. The result is that victims cannot always see the faces of their attackers. Typically, the victims only have scent and touch to go by. The victims may be able to identify how tall or heavy the perpetrator was, but those descriptions are vague.
Suppose sexual harm victimizes someone in your neighborhood. For whatever reason, law enforcement agents arrest you and put you into a lineup with other suspects who fit the bill of the perpetrator’s description. For example, suppose the victim recalls the attacker having a tattoo on his left hand, pierced ears, and a gap between his teeth. The police look at you and see that you have a chipped front tooth, a tattoo on your left shoulder, and no piercings. Although your description does not match that of the perpetrator, the police may influence the victim into remembering the attacker’s description differently so that you fit the description now.
Unfortunately, law enforcement agents have been known to make a person fit the description rather than going after someone who wholly does fit that description. This is particularly true if you have prior arrests or convictions. However, this undue influence and pressure on the victim and redirecting her recollections can be considered a violation of your rights. No one should influence the victim’s memory, and frightened victims may get the details wrong considering the unexpected and surprising attack circumstances. Remember, you are innocent until a jury finds you guilty.
Thus, the victims do not always see the face of the assailant. It is also possible that the victim slept with more than one person that day or came under the influence of sexual activities and confused you with someone else. Under this circumstance, mistaken identity is a viable defense. To the extent that someone else committed the sex crime against the victim, we will do everything to prove that the victim has misidentified you. For example, we will provide proof of your location at the time of the sexual assault, witnesses who can verify you were with them during the assault, lack of your semen at the crime scene, and lack of your DNA at the crime scene.
No matter the nature of the case, evidence is key. First, the prosecutor will raise evidence against you. Then, in turn, we will raise evidence in your defense. There are instances in which the state may file charges against you, only to drop them due to lack of evidence. In other instances, your defense team successfully challenges the police’s evidence by filing a strategic motion. As a result, the judge won’t allow certain evidence to be admissible in court. Barred evidence can include prior arrests, text messages, or other information that may unfairly prejudice the jurors.
Suppose that the alleged victim initially made certain claims to law enforcement in other instances. They arrested you. Later, the alleged victim’s story changes, or the victim stops cooperating with the police. Without more to go on than the alleged victim’s statement, the state will likely drop its case against you in either scenario. After all, conflicting statements and lack of evidence are not enough to persuade a jury to find you guilty of a crime.
If your defense lawyer demonstrates that you were not at the crime scene when the offense was supposedly committed, this goes towards proving that you cannot be guilty. Where you were at the time of the incident is your alibi. Alibis can be witnesses who saw you in a different state separate from where the sex crime occurred. Even credit card receipts, video footage, and other forms of evidence can serve as your alibi.
For example, a traffic camera in Alexandria, Virginia, recorded you on the road at 3:34 p.m. Naturally, this timestamp conflicts with the time of the assault, which happened at 2:30 p.m. in Michigan. Michigan is approximately thirteen hours from Virginia. Critically, you could not have driven from Michigan to Virginia in this period. In this case, you have a trustworthy alibi. A reliable alibi could result in the state throwing out your case.
Sex Crime Hot Topics In Michigan
Sex crimes have been a popular topic in America for a long time. Who the likely victims are, who the likely perpetrators are, how long judges sentence convicted sexual assaulters, and how sexual assaults affect victims are frequently held discussions. Most discussions outline a clear victim and victimizer. Today, discussions are not so black and white. Before, there was little room for discussion regarding female-on-male sexual misconduct. Today, this is a more appreciated topic. Before, it was unlikely a person who fell in love with a sex offender registrant could ask questions. Today, there is information available for people who are married to or considering registrants on the sex offender list.
Does Age Play A Role?
The general public is often curious about whether age plays a role in who’s a victim and who is a perpetrator. Anyone of any age can be harmed by sexual violence. As far as the age of perpetrators, they have been as young as children. Various causes would lead children to harm other children. Prior exposure to sexual abuse or a mental disorder is a common cause.
The issue of sexual harm in America is an epidemic. A sexual assault occurs every 68 seconds. There are more than 460,000 new victims of sexual assault, who are twelve or older, every year. People twelve to thirty-four are most likely to be sexual assault and rape victims. People sixty-five and older are 83% less likely than people twenty-five to forty-nine to be assault or rape victims.
Age And Gender
Statistically, women are more likely to be sex crime victims. Since 1998, attackers have harmed almost 18 million women. Yet, one in every six women has survived sexual violence. Specifically, girls sixteen to nineteen are four times more likely than the standard population to experience sexual assault, attempted rape, or completed rape. Critically, 82% of every juvenile survivor of sexual abuse is a girl.
But these statistics don’t mean that we should turn a blind eye to male victims. Boys and adult males frequently experience sexual harm, as well. Since 1998, attackers have harmed almost 3 million men. One of every thirty-three men has survived sexual violence. Collegiate young male adults eighteen to twenty-four are five times more likely than non-students to be raped or sexually assaulted. Specifically, one out of every ten rape victims is a male.
What does gender-based violence mean? It means that the victim’s sexual identity or orientation can inspire sexual violence against a victim. It takes several forms and can occur anywhere. For example, it can take place on school grounds, the work office, sporting events, etc. It can show itself in the form of gender-specific teasing with comments that refer to someone’s intimate parts. Third, it can show itself on a date when the victim’s partner has a certain expectation of what should happen due to the victim’s sexual identity and begins to act aggressively when that expectation is not met. Finally, it can show itself through cyberbullying, revenge porn, or malicious posting on hookup sites.
What Happens If I Marry A Sex Offender?
You love whom you love, and whom you love is your business and prerogative. Unfortunately, it can also be the government’s business. Your spouse-to-be being a sex offender registrant doesn’t mean you can’t apply for a marriage license. In general, no crime bars your right to marry. However, a criminal conviction can make married life more challenging.
As you should know, databases of sex offender registrants are available for public access. This means that your neighbors, friends, and co-workers have easy access to your partner’s past. This can make social gatherings uncomfortable. Your spouse’s registrations must be updated at certain intervals depending on the tier. Failure to register or renew will result in a re-arrest, and the state may send your spouse back to jail or prison.
Furthermore, there may be stipulations regarding when and where you can. For example, suppose your job wants to relocate you outside Michigan. You’ll need to speak with a legal professional to know your best options.
Sex Crimes And False Reporting
Unfortunately, someone close to you may betray you in the worst way possible, and that is by accusing you of a sex crime. The public has debated the frequency of false reporting for decades. Studies and reports have been inconsistent. Some articles conclude that false reporting of rape is as low as 1.5%. Other articles found that 8% of rape allegations are knowingly false. Political and personal agendas may sway how the false reporting studies are conducted. Regardless, what is certain is that no study finds that 0% of rape allegations are intentionally false. Some rape allegations are false, which is all the more reason why a thorough investigation is vital to defending the freedoms of the innocent.
False reports can make the headlines, but they are less likely to break the internet than rape accusations. Did you know that 52 convicted rapists saw exoneration between 1989 and 2012, according to The National Registry of Exoneration? Does Michigan extend legal recourse to victims of false reporting? Yes. Michigan makes false reporting of serious crimes a felony offense. If someone purposely makes a false rape allegation, that person can face up to twenty years in state prison.
If you are interested in a history of false reporting studies, consider perusing this article.*
*George Law does not endorse this website, nor have we fact-checked its reports.
Michigan Sex Crime Defense Attorneys
Are you accused of committing a sex crime in Michigan? If so, do not lose hope. Instead, contact a sex crimes defense lawyer as soon as possible. The skilled Michigan sex crimes lawyers at George Law dedicate themselves to protecting you in sex crime cases. We will carefully examine your case, review your legal options, and execute all viable and reasonable defenses to fight these charges. We will, too, if the prosecutor wants to put the gloves on. We look forward to ensuring that you get the best resolution to your case. Schedule a free consultation online or call us at (248) 470-4300 to learn more.