False accusations of child molestation and rape are increasingly common in the United States. Police tend to aggressively pursue these allegations, even when they are based on the thinnest of evidence. An innocent person accused of a sex crime involving a minor often does not understand the importance of hiring a criminal defense lawyer until after he or she has been interrogated and arrested.
The Berry Law Firm provides aggressive defense for innocent persons charged with sex offenses, including child molestation charges. With offices in Omaha and Lincoln, our criminal defense lawyers represent clients throughout Nebraska and in many other states. To make an appointment, call (402) 817-6550 or contact us online.
The criminal defense bar has learned from several false sexual assault cases in the 1990s involving day care providers that child sexual assault investigations can be easily tainted by well-meaning, but poorly trained members of law enforcement and therapists. The tragic result is that innocent citizens are convicted of crimes they did not commit.
Law enforcement often fails to obtain a chain of custody of a child’s memory. The problem is that improper child interview techniques and aggressive questioning of children can lead to false memories. Contrary to popular belief, human memories do not record events verbatim like a DVD. Memories can be influenced by improper leading questions in both children and adults. However, children are much more susceptible to false memories when those memories are suggested by a therapist, parent, or other adult. Children often have source amnesia. In other words, they do not generally remember where they initially learned information, but they do remember the information. Unfortunately, many terrified parents and concerned law enforcement officers press children for answers outside the presence of trained forensic interviewers and provide information to children, which children may later “remember” and adopt as their own memories.
Often in child sexual assault allegation cases, there is evidence that portions of the child’s story are inaccurate, mere fantasy, or just plain not true. Unfortunately, law enforcement is often selective about what they believe and what they don’t believe. The problem is that when unverifiable events are combined with false events, law enforcement and prosecutors tend to pick and choose what they want to believe even when parts of the story are patently false. When this happens, innocent citizens can be charged with horrible crimes.
At no time is your right to remain silent more important than when you are accused of a sex crime. Even innocent statements can be manipulated by a skilled police interrogator and used as evidence against the subject of an investigation. In many cases, the admission of key facts establishes probable cause for arrest even though the defendant denies the crime took place.
False allegations of child molestation can also arise during divorce. These allegations can be used as a way for the accuser to gain the upper hand in a child custody dispute. Sadly, in some cases resentful former spouses have manipulated children or have coached them to provide false evidence or statements.
Given the potential consequences— damage to reputation, jail time and lifetime registration as a sex offender. Early involvement by a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney may provide the best opportunity to avoid an arrest, criminal charges, or a conviction. If you have already been charged, our lawyers will prepare the strongest possible defense.