If you’re accused of a sexual assault crime, you may think that you’re out of luck. Fortunately, there are ways to defend yourself. It can be difficult to prosecute a sexual assault case; in most cases, there are actually only two witnesses. Those two witnesses are the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator. The burden of proof is difficult to meet, and many times, these cases come down to he-said, she-said rhetoric.
There are a few different defenses you can use including arguing that there was no penetration, that the alleged rape was actually consensual or that it was someone else who committed the crime. If there is no DNA evidence, it’s easier to have an “it wasn’t me” defense, but if there is, you may want to go down the route of trying to prove that the sex was consensual or that no penetration occurred.
Stating that the sex was consensual is the most common form of defense and the most difficult defense to defeat in court. To pursue a trial, victims of rape typically have to go through examinations and recount what happened several times to detectives, lawyers, judges and others. Some victims don’t feel like going through all of this, so they let the case go. In other situations, an alleged victim may not seek help soon enough, so any evidence could be tainted or inaccurate, which works to the defense’s benefit.
Your attorney can help you understand which defense might work best in your case. Depending on the information you provide, you may be able to build a strong case for your acquittal or for the charges to be lessened.
Source: University of Virginia School of Law, “City Attorney Shares Reality of Prosecuting Sexual Assault Cases,” M. Wood, accessed Nov. 01, 2016