Queens County Bar Association
Martindale Hubbell - Distinguished 2023

What Are Some of the Most Common Reasons That You’ve Seen in Which False Sexual Assault Allegations Are Made?

Reasons for false sexual assault allegations depends on the type of sexual assault charge. For instance, it is very rare to see false sexual assault allegations between strangers. More commonly, sex crimes involve people that know one another… When parties don’t know each other, it is more a question of, do they have the right person? If so, then the identification of the person who allegedly committed the sex crime becomes the issue. The typical defense involves having an alibi, which is paramount. Most sexual offenses are allegedly committed by people that are known to the complainant. And then, it becomes an issue of whether or not a sex crime was actually committed. The reasons that you tend to see false charges being made are varied, but, by far, the largest number of complaints, involve children. When parties are in the process of divorcing or splitting up, it’s very common to see charges being made by women when there are child custody issues at hand. Sexual abuse charges are devastating to the possibility of the father having visitation with his child even before the charges are proven or disproven. The courts will move very quickly to keep a parent who’s accused of sexual offences from any contact with his child.

Other reasons may simply involve anger or perceived mistreatment of a spouse by the other spouse. There are many instances in which a women is dependent on her husband because of her immigration status. One of the few things that will keep a person who is not legally in this country from being deported is if they are the victim of sexual abuse by their spouse. We find that some women have actually been counseled to bring charges against their spouse in order to protect their immigration status.

What Type Of Evidence Could Potentially Help In My Sex Crime Case?

The evidence that could potentially help with your sex crime case will very much depend on the type of case. It’s similar to any other type of case where you can be impugning the motives and credibility of the complainant. Or, it may be a situation where you can prove that you weren’t even there. All of these things are common to other cases. One thing that may be different in a crime involving sexual assault is that it’s much more common and useful to use sex crime experts, such as psychologists and social workers, who can give information as to false memory and such. Sex crime experts are mainly used to combat the expert witnesses that will always be called by the district attorney to support their case, and that’s very different in comparison to typical criminal cases.

What Is The Statute Of Limitations On A Sex Crime Charge In New York?

In recent years, the statute of limitations in New York has greatly changed. It’s far worse for defendants. For some time now, the statute of limitations for first-degree Rape and first-degree Sexual Abuse has been abolished, and the charges can be brought any time. This past year, on lesser sexual charges, the statute of limitations has been greatly increased, sometimes to 20 or 30 years. I think these changes are in response to the #Me-Too and Time’s Up movements. These responses are virtually abolishing the statute of limitations in almost all sex crimes.

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