What to do if you are accused of a sex offense.

Being accused of a sex offense is life altering.

Few things in this world are scarier than being accused of a sex offense.  Merely being accused is enough to end your career, and lose your family and friends.  No other accusation quite carries the stigma that the accusation of a sex offense does.  A sex offense is taken very seriously by law enforcement. They use some very underhanded strategies in the name of locking up anyone they suspect is guilty of a sex offense.

Some suspects are innocent.

The fact of the matter is, many people accused of a sex offense are not guilty at all.  These types of accusations come up most often in the context of a messy divorce.  A bitter spouse who knows the power of this accusation, will throw it out in hopes of getting a better settlement in her (or sometimes his) divorce case.  If you are threatened with an accusation, watch out for the following things that are almost guaranteed to happen.

The Confrontation Call

One of the most useful tools that law enforcement uses in sex offense cases is the ‘confrontation call.’  A confrontation call is a call that a complaining witness makes to the suspect.  The complaining witness confronts the suspect about the allegations.  

Suspects will say whatever it takes to calm the comlaining witness down.

The problems with these calls are that the suspect believes the call is private, and the witness is making very scary accusations.  The suspect knows that if this complaining witness goes to law enforcement, it could end his life, even if he is not ultimately convicted, or even charged.

The police are listening to the call.

Consequently the suspect will make concessions, and at a minimum apologize in hopes of changing the complaining witness’s mind.  What the suspect doesn’t know is that the witness already went to law enforcement. Law enforcement is recording the conversation, and coaching the witness on what to say.  Even a vague apology during one of these conversations will cause you a lot of problems in your case.  It could be interpreted as a confession, even if you didn’t really confess to anything.

The police will the call the suspect.

After the confrontation call, and right before law enforcement concludes its investigation, they will make their own call to the suspect.  They will ask the suspect questions on the phone, or have him come into the police station to discuss the case.  They will pose it to the suspect that they want to get his side of the story. If the suspect doesn’t speak with them, they will only have one side of the story.  They will say that if the suspect doesn’t speak to them they will have no choice but to turn the file over to the prosecutor with only one side to the story.

The Interrogation

Complaining witnesses are assisted by the police to tell a consistent story.

After the suspect agrees to sit down with the police, the interrogation is next. They will not be friendly to the suspect.  They will treat the complaining witness with velvet gloves, and any inconsistencies in her statement are glossed over. Even worse, the police may attempt to help the witness rectify any discrepancies. 

Police browbeat suspects.

The suspect gets the complete opposite treatment during a police interrogation.  The police will not gloss over inconsistencies; they will try to twist the suspect’s words. Law enforcement will make it sound like discrepancies exist with the suspect’s testimony where there are none.  Even if the suspect is smart, and avoids making any statement’s that the state can use against him, they will find a way to use his words against him in other ways.  

No benefit to speak to the police.

There is just no benefit to anyone speaking to the police when accused of a sex offense.  If they have a weak case, avoid making it a stronger case by talking to them.  If it is a strong case, then speaking to them will not stop them from charging you.

The Polygraph

One of the last tools the police use is an offer to perform a polygraph, also known as a lie detector test.  The polygraph is not intended to benefit the suspect.  It is merely an opportunity for the police to browbeat the suspect, and to tear him down psychologically when he ‘fails’ the polygraph. Polygraphs are based on junk science.  Even the American Psychological Association says so.  

Polygraphs are inadmissable at trial.

Courts will not allow either party to present polygraph results at trial.  However, the courts will let the State use the statements made by the suspect during the polygraph in the trial.  The only time a polygraph can be useful is when your attorney negotiates a deal with the State to agree to take the polygraph in exchange for dismissal or other concessions in the event you pass the polygraph.  But make no mistake, this is only an agreement the prosecutor grants, not the police.  Do not let them trick you into taking the polygraph by promising better results for you.  They cannot guarantee that.

Call an Attorney!

If you are accused of a sex offense, you need to immediately call an attorney. That attorney will advise you to remain silent.  When the witness, or anyone else calls you to talk to you about the case, get off the call.  Do not discuss anything with them.  If the police call you, tell them that you are exercising your right to remain silent, and will not speak with them.  And do not, under any circumstances, agree to take a polygraph, unless your attorney tells you to.

Boise, Idaho Criminal Defense Attorney

Craig Atkinson is the lead attorney at Atkinson Law Office,
Boise DUI and Criminal Attorneys. It is located at 1087 W River St #290, Boise, ID 83702. You can call him anytime at 208.571.0627.

Ask Craig to review your case.

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