About 2 to 10 percent of sexual assault accusations are false, reports the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. While this may not seem like a huge statistic, to the accused a false rape allegation can bring immense and sometimes irreparable consequences. The alleged perpetrator could face criminal prosecution, with the risk of losing their freedom and future to a conviction. Even if the wrongly accused defendant is cleared, his or her work, job prospects, social relationships, and reputation could greatly suffer, as well as their mental and emotional wellness.
If you or a family member has been falsely accused of rape, criminal sexual conduct or other sex crime, it is crucial that you get legal protection right away. In Minnesota, sexual assault allegations are not taken lightly and could lead to heavy punishments. You’ll want to be protected by a defense lawyer who is proven effective in defending the accused.
Defense attorney Jeff Dean is distinguished in Minnesota for his successful handling of many sex crime cases, including notable Dismissals and “Not Guilty” verdicts. He has set important legal precedents through his wins and has been congratulated by judges for his victories in sexual misconduct cases. Safeguard your freedom today. Call Jeff Dean at (612) 305-4360.
Reasons Behind False Rape Accusations
Why do some individuals invent or twist a story to accuse someone of a crime? According to the FBI, each false allegation may involve one or more of these underlying motivations:
- Accuser has a mental illness
- Accuser wants attention or sympathy
- Accuser did it for profit or financial gain
- Accuser did it as an alibi
- Accuser did it as revenge.
The FBI further notes that false accusers come up with a “self-victimization plan”, but they do not usually think about the serious law enforcement investigation that ensues.
What Are Penalties For False Allegations?
Under Minnesota law, filing a false crime report is a misdemeanor, and any subsequent offense is a gross misdemeanor. Penalties include up to one year in jail and up to $3,000 in fines.
In many cases, the falsely accused files a defamation lawsuit against the accuser. Recently, in May 2020, a University of Minnesota law professor won nearly $1.2 million in a defamation case after a woman’s false rape allegation had him charged with felony and put him in jail for weeks.
What To Do If You’ve Been Falsely Accused Of A Sex Crime
- Get a lawyer ASAP. Even if you did absolutely nothing wrong, it is vital that you protect yourself legally. The court will not automatically side with you just because you had nothing to do with the alleged crime. It is possible to be set up for a crime you did not commit, or for circumstantial evidence to point towards guilt.
It is best to hire a defense attorney early on, before the accusation gains momentum. Talk to your lawyer about minimizing the false report’s adverse impact on your job and reputation.
- Avoid commenting on the story. In sexual assault cases, the public’s sympathy will likely lean towards the accuser, and the accused will likely be perceived as bad no matter what they say. As tempting as it is to tell your side of the story, your words could be used against you. DO NOT SPEAK WITH POLICE UNTIL YOU HAVE FIRST CONSULTED WITH A CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER. THE ACCUSED OFTEN ASK THE QUESTION: IF I DON’T TALK WITH POLICE, WON’T THAT MAKE ME LOOK GUILTY? THE ANSWER IS NO. YOU HAVE THE ABSOLUTE FIFTH AMENDMENT RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT. The accused sometimes believe that talking with police can help them because they only have exculpatory things to say. However, even discussing matters which you view as helping your case, may actually hurt you. For example, the accused might say that it was consensual – however admit being at the scene, or admit that the other person was drunk or otherwise vulnerable. You must remain silent because no adverse inference may be drawn from your silence. Contact a criminal defense lawyer and let your lawyer help you in clearing your name.
- Make a witness list. Having an alibi and witnesses can greatly help your defense. List down the names of anyone who could testify for you, and what information they might provide. Share this list with your attorney.
- Avoid communicating with the accuser. You may want to try to clear the air with the accuser or ask them why they made the allegations but getting in touch with them can be extremely damaging to your case. Remember that they have the ability to create a story about you – having contact with them may fuel this story. Moreover, it could be viewed as witness tampering. If it is absolutely necessary to talk to them, ask your lawyer about a way to do so that will prevent the accuser from manipulating the situation.
Contact Criminal Defense Attorney Jeff Dean
Attorney Jeffrey Dean works aggressively to defend the accused. He is skilled in finding the best defense strategies, and persistent in gathering evidence, witnesses, and experts to establish that you’ve been wrongly accused.
With his experience and tenacity, Jeff Dean has secured the freedom of many people accused of serious felonies. Call Jeff Dean today at (612) 305-4360.