Wrongful accusations of sexual assault harm more than just the individual that is accused. Those accused have family members and friends that can be badly harmed as well.
One woman told about the experience of having her husband accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year old girl. It appears that evidence presented indicated that the man was innocent, but he still took over a year to have his name legally cleared and be acquitted of the charges.
The man accused complained about delays in the criminal justice system. He spoke of other concerns as well. “The lack of professional courtesy, let alone disregard for the law is appalling.” He states he was also shunned by the community in which he lived.
A website has been created that allows individuals falsely accused of crimes to tell their stories. The organization that created the website is called “It Could Happen to You,” and this organization is now holding annual summits featuring news about wrongful arrests. Such wrongful arrests occur in Colorado, and in every other state in the nation.
Though not everyone shares this sentiment, our criminal law system was formed around the premise that it is better to let a guilty man or woman go than to arrest an innocent person. When someone is sentenced for something that they have not done, there is an extremely high risk that the life of that person may be forever damaged. For this reason, it is still those that are accusing another of a crime that are required to prove that person is guilty.
Criminal defense attorneys are there to make sure that accusations of a crime are not enough to lead to a conviction. These attorneys will fight to make sure that only real evidence can be used to convict individuals.
Source: Legislative Gazette, “Wrongfully convicted call for justice reform,” by Clara A. Smith, Feb. 11, 2013
- Our Denver attorneys can assist if you have been accused of sexual assault or other sex crimes.