My Niece is accusing me of rape!!
You notice that everyone in the family is suddenly avoiding you… and then you receive a call from a detective wanted to go over some allegations. During the call you learn that your niece is claiming that you sexually assaulted her two years ago. After the call, the think to yourself, “this can’t be right… the only evidence is her statement.” You hope that once the detective realizes that his only evidence is your niece’s statement…. that the charges will just go away. When your name appears in the next month’s list of indictments in the newspaper, and you now know the charges are going forward in the worst way possible.
This is a common situation for many people accused of any type of sexual offense. Even though many juries prefer some type of DNA or forensic evidence, the law does not require the State to produce this type of evidence in order to convict you. If the child testifies and the jury believes the child “beyond a reasonable doubt” then a defendant can be convicted of sexual offense. If the jury does not believe the child and the only evidence is the child’s testimony, then a jury cannot convict the defendant. A variety of minor details can sway a jury. Before talking to an officer or detective, a person accused of any sexual offense should visit with a criminal defense attorney to understand and factors that could influence their case.
*This is not a substitute for legal advice. Any person accused of a crime should consult with an attorney for more information specific to their case.