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False Accusations of Rape or Sexual Assault in Texas

Criminal Law Blog by The Law Office of Greg Tsioros

False Accusations of Rape or Sexual Assault in Texas

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A false accusation of rape is very serious in Texas or anywhere in the United States. In many instances, Texas law enforcement will initiate an investigation based on the purported victim’s statement that a sexual assault occurred. If charges are filed against the alleged offender, he or she is likely to suffer a significant and long-lasting loss of reputation in personal and business realms.

It’s almost unimaginable that anyone could falsely accuse another person of sexual assault. It’s just unthinkable, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, false accusations of sexual assault or rape are made against innocent defendants every day. Although laws in the United States state that the defendant is innocent until proven guilty, juries tend to err on the side of caution. That is, the jury asks, “Why would anyone falsely accuse another person of committing a heinous crime like rape if it didn’t happen?”

An experienced criminal defense attorney can help the jury understand the truth. And it’s going to be challenging for your accuser to prove something that didn’t happen.

Have you been falsely accused of rape or sexual assault in Texas?
Contact experienced attorney Greg Tsioros today >>

Why Would Anyone Accuse Another Person of Sexual Assault or Rape?

The answer is that some folks believe the end justifies the means. A former spouse who’s pursuing you for additional spousal or child support might tell a vicious lie to hurt you. If you’re in the midst of a child custody battle, the accuser believes the false accusation will win the war.

If a former dating partner, co-worker, etc., has a grudge against you, falsely accusing you of sexual assault or rape may be a type of revenge. The false accusation of rape or sexual assault is intended to cause pain—regardless of what evidence, if any, is available. Unlike a violent crime like murder, it’s possible for the court to consider rape with little or no physical proof that the crime occurred.

What Does the Law Say About Rape or Sexual Assault in Texas?

The Texas Sexual Assault Statute [§ 22.011 and § 22.021] says that sexual assault occurs when the alleged victim suffers serious bodily injuries (or when the offender threatens to use physical violence unless the victim consents to the defendant). If the alleged victim claims the defendant used or showed a “deadly weapon” in the act of committing the crime, or states that he or she used a date rape drug like ketamine or rohypnol to commit the offense, the accuser’s statement may seem like a “he said, she said” incident.

Common defenses include that the defendant “lacked intent” or that the alleged victim “consented” to the sexual act. Your criminal defense attorney will gather the facts and use all resources available to defend you.

The bottom line: If you’ve been accused of sexual assault or rape, don’t talk to anyone other than an experienced criminal defense attorney. The sooner you engage aggressive criminal defense representation, the better.

What Steps Should Be Taken After a False Accusation or Rape or Sexual Assault?

After retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney, stay calm:

  • Discuss the case with your attorney and no one else. Use your energy to build a strong defense case.
  • Keep rumors about the case from spreading. Don’t discuss what happened with friends or family members. Investigators may question people close to you. It’s possible for even a close friend or relation to unintentionally harm the case.
  • Avoid speaking to the police. They aren’t required to tell you the truth. The goal is to elicit a confession–even if nothing happened. Don’t agree to speak with the police without a criminal defense attorney present.
  • Forget the accuser. Never directly or indirectly contact the false accuser. This individual isn’t your friend. He or she won’t agree to un-tell the lie.

How Common Are False Accusations?

False accusations of rape are common:

  • Researchers presenting at the Symposium for False Allegations of Rape for the Violence against Women group (2010) reported (on the basis of a small study) that two to 10 percent of rape accusations are false.
  • An earlier study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior (1994) showed that up to 41 percent of cases involved false accusations of rape.

Impact of False Accusations

Sadly, false rape accusations are likely to do permanent reputation damage to the defendant—the actual victim.

The widely publicized case against Bill Cosby demonstrates “trial by media.” The defendant, once considered America’s Dad, is now considered a serial rapist by many. More than 20 women have claimed that Cosby is guilty of sexual assault.

In most instances, the statute of limitations’ expiry prevented many accusers’ ability to take Cosby to trial. A single case that made it to court recently ended in a mistrial.

Regardless of whether Cosby and his accuser square off in a new trial, his reputation has been permanently damaged. Without the assistance of experienced criminal defense counsel, Bill Cosby might have been convicted of a specious act of sexual assault.

Protections against a False Accusation of Rape or Sexual Assault

If you’ve been accused of sexually assaulting another person, you don’t have a moment to spare. You must protect yourself against the accuser and the accusations. Once a salacious rumor goes viral, your personal and professional reputation is in danger.

Whether you’re a college student or an established professional, a false accusation of rape or sexual assault can destroy your future.

Put the accuser out of your thoughts for now. It may be possible to bring legal charges against the false accuser at some point in the future. However, your first steps after a false accusation of rape must involve self-protection.

You need an experienced criminal defense lawyer. It’s his job to ensure that you’re perceived as innocent until proven guilty. Contact The Law Office of Greg Tsioros in Houston to discuss your potential case now. As a former prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office (both felony and misdemeanor courts), Mr. Tsioros will fight to protect your rights.

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