While rape is an extremely serious accusation and charge, sometimes rape accusations can occur when one party has had too much to drink and behaves in a way they might not ordinarily do, then in the cold light of day leaps to the conclusion they must have been raped. False allegations of date rape are also fairly common and can obviously be humiliating and have long-term consequences for the person who has been falsely accused. Others who have been accused of sexual misconduct following a night of drinking may have no memory of what happened the night before, or may have gotten signals crossed or exceeded their normal boundaries.
In other cases a teenaged female may consent to having sex with an older boyfriend, then become afraid of her parents finding out and without thinking cries “rape.” Once the word rape is spoken aloud, it can never be taken back, and for the person accused that word can effectively turn their life upside down. Adult accusations of rape can be a response to being caught in a compromising position by their spouse or partner, or simple remorse or regret after a night of drinking. Finally, in some unfortunate cases the accuser simply wants to “get even” for a real or perceived affront, and cries rape as a form of revenge.
Quite often in the case of date rape the question is not whether sexual contact took place, rather whether it was consensual. Police officers tend to take the word of the accuser without conducting a full blown investigation to determine whether there are other issues at play behind the allegations. The accusation of rape almost always brings an emotional response from those hearing the accusations. Remember that if you have been accused of rape, it is imperative you not speak to anyone until you have retained the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Exercise your right to remain silent—it can truly mean the difference between your freedom and a conviction. State to the police officer politely that while you are innocent of the crime you are being charged with, you will not speak to anyone until you have spoken with your attorney. This is your right and one you should never, under any circumstances, waive.
Defense Against False Allegations of Date Rape
You will need a highly aggressive attorney who isn’t afraid to cause waves in your defense and who will launch a thorough investigation on your behalf. The credibility of the person making the false allegations must be challenged, and a private investigator will likely be brought in to locate potentially reluctant witnesses and obtain the information your accuser might prefer remain hidden. Remember that rape allegations can literally take on a life of their own which is another reason you must not speak to anyone except your attorney regarding the details of your case—even to close friends or family members—without the approval of your attorney. Your attorney may choose to hire a forensic mental health expert who will examine the case against you for weakness, factual errors or police misconduct.
Allegations of rape are particularly hard to combat, primarily because it is considered politically incorrect to question the truthfulness of the woman crying rape. Unfortunately, this failure to consider that the accuser could be lying takes away the presumption of innocence from the person who is being falsely accused. Since sex crimes are among the few crimes which do not require corroborating evidence for a conviction, and a conviction can even occur when there are no witnesses and no physical evidence, the case can come down to the credibility of the accused vs. the credibility of the accuser. Don’t leave your future to chance, and take accusations of rape with the seriousness they deserve. Get a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney on board immediately and work with him or her to protect your future life.