When an individual is accused of committing a sex crime against a child, media frenzy builds up quickly around his or her case. As a result, a defendant’s constitutional rights to be presumed innocent until proven guilty get cast aside, though they exist in theory. Even though the prosecution is required to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, when an individual is accused of child sexual assault there is a tremendous amount of antagonism against the accused. In reality, the defendant is often placed in a position where he or she must prove that the alleged incident did not occur.
There is also an assumption on the part of most people that “children never lie.” As sex crime defense lawyers who have represented wrongfully accused clients for more than 30 years, we know first-hand that this is not the case. At Wallin & Klarich, we take every step to ensure that our clients’ rights are protected. We work diligently to ensure that jurors see the facts as they are, without being tainted by pre-conceived prejudices or viewpoints.
Children Do Fabricate Stories
Children sometimes make up allegations of sexual abuse because they are looking for attention. Especially when children do not receive much attention from their parents or guardians, they may be inclined to make up stories of sexual abuse because they believe the “attention will be on them.” Children may even get very specific with details as they expand on their stories. When they are encouraged by adults or goaded to supply more details, it often leads to additional fabrication.
Also, it is difficult for many people to accept that a child would lie about something as serious as being sexually abused or molested. However, children often do not realize the gravity of making an allegation of sexual misconduct.
Here’s an example. Chaneya Kelly, a 24-year-old upstate New York woman, whose father went to prison when she told police he raped her as a 9-year-old said this week that she made up the story to avoid being beaten by her mother. The woman is now pleading for her father’s release, nearly 16 years after she accused him of molesting her. Her father, Daryl Kelly, was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison and barred from any contact with his children after being convicted by a jury of multiple counts of rape and serious sexual assault. He has always maintained his innocence. This is an example of how the accused’s life can be turned upside down because a jury believed a child who had lied about being sexually abused.
Why Children Lie about Sexual Abuse
There are several reasons why children may lie about being sexually abused or molested:
- Anger: A child could simply be angry with someone or could be egged on or coached by a parent who has been embroiled in a custody battle. Someone else who wanted to get back at the defendant could also have exploited the child.
- Revenge: A child could also lie about sexual abuse to get someone, such as a parent or a teacher, into trouble.
- Approval: A child may lie about one parent to get the approval of another parent. He or she may also fabricate a story to win the approval of his or her friends or peers.
- Misunderstanding: Young children are often unable to understand sexual activity. They may start out by vocalizing a misunderstanding, but may begin fabricating a story around a single episode to “keep the story going.”
Why You Need an Attorney
If you are facing allegations of child sex abuse, it is crucial that you get an experienced California sex crime defense lawyer on your side early on in the process. Even an accusation could sully your name and perhaps, even cost you your job. A felony conviction could result in prison time, hefty fines and mandatory registration as a sex offender. The experienced defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich understand the different elements of a child sex abuse case. We will fight hard to ensure that the facts come out in your case and to help accomplish a positive outcome.
The knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience successfully defending clients against accusations of sexual abuse. Please contact us at (877) 466-5245 to discuss your case at absolutely no cost.