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Defending Against False Accusation: Strategies in Sex Crimes Cases

By Jose Ceja
Managing Attorney

Being falsely accused of a sex crime can be a truly awful experience. In Texas, sex crimes are some of the most serious criminal offenses with the potential for a felony conviction, prison time, sex offender registration and a permanent stain on your record. Fortunately, there are many steps that a person who has been falsely accused can take to protect himself or herself from a false allegation of sexual abuse. Whether you are under investigation or have already been charged, seeking the advice of an experienced sex crimes attorney is critical. 

What kind of proof is needed to charge someone with a sex crime in Texas? 

It is important to understand that a charge of sexual abuse can be based on nothing more than the word of an accuser. In Texas, there is no requirement that an allegation of sexual abuse be corroborated by any other evidence like DNA or the testimony of an independent witness. The reality is that unless an accuser has made an allegation that is wildly improbable or obviously contradicted by the evidence, the police and District Attorney’s Office will generally take the side of the accuser. It is important to understand that law enforcement essentially take the position that an accuser in a sexual abuse case is never lying and that the suspect is guilty.

What should I do or not do if I am under investigation for a false accusation of sexual abuse?

If you believe that you are under investigation for a sex crime, it is highly advisable that you take the allegation seriously and take steps to protect yourself. After an allegation is made in a sex crimes case, the police will almost always attempt to obtain a statement (or a confession) from a suspect. From the police’s perspective, this makes sense – it is a lot easier for law enforcement to prove their case if the suspect has confessed. 

The most important thing to do after a false allegation of sexual abuse it to consult with an experienced sex crimes attorney right away. Most experienced sex crimes attorney strongly advise against speaking to the police after being accused of a sex crime. The bottom line is that if the police have enough evidence to charge you with a sex crime, there is virtually nothing that you can say that will dissuade them (as noted above, they do not need any evidence beyond the word of the accuser). However, if they lack sufficient evidence (for example, if they can’t place the suspect at the location where the abuse is alleged to have taken place), then it is possible that a suspect will be giving them the information that was lacking to file a case. 

Moreover, when you speak to the police, you may be in the dark about what the allegation is. If you misspeak or inadvertently provide inaccurate information, the statement may later be used against you as proof that you were lying and hiding something.

If you have been falsely accused of sexual abuse, it is also important that you do not speak to friends and family about the alleged incident. Avoid all texts and communications about the allegation. Again, any statement that you make can be taken out of context and later used as evidence of your guilt. For example, if there was a misunderstanding that led to the false allegation of sexual abuse, apologizing could later be construed as an admission that you are guilty. 

How can a sex crimes attorney help with if I have been falsely accused of sexual abuse? 

If you have been charged with a sex crime after a false allegation, it is important to understand the role of a sex crimes attorney in defending the charges against you. 

One of the most important functions of a sex crimes attorney in a case involving a false allegation it to uncover the reason for the lie. Although false allegations of sexual abuse are common, people do not falsely accuse others of a sex crime without a reason. To uncover this, it is necessary for a sex crimes attorney to take a very proactive approach in investigating the facts and background of the alleged victim, as well as conducting interviews with anyone with relevant information. 

Very often, a sex crimes attorney will also be able to show that the behavior of the alleged victim is inconsistent with someone claiming to be the victim of sexual abuse. For example, if the victim claimed that she was sexually abused and yet continued to voluntarily spend time with the suspect and did not display any fear around him, then that may suggest that the alleged victim was lying about the accusation. 

A sex crimes case will be resolved by either dismissal, plea agreement or trial. When a person is charged with a sex crime, the goal should always be dismissal. However, if the case is not dismissed, then a defendant will have to choose between a trial or a plea agreement. Due to the seriousness of sex crimes, many plea agreements in sex crimes cases involve prison time. As a result, sex crimes cases will frequently go to trial, and one of the most important functions of a sex crimes attorney is to go to trial to try and obtain an acquittal. 

Sex crimes are some of the most serious and legally complex cases in Texas and it is critical to consult with experienced counsel if you are under investigation or have been charged. Sex crimes attorneys Jose Ceja and Abigail Anastasio are highly experienced sex crimes lawyers that have successfully defended all types of sex charges in the Houston area. If you have been falsely accused of a sex crime, call Ceja Law Firm today. 

About the Author
Jose Ceja is the managing attorney of Ceja Law Firm. He has practiced law since 2007 and has devoted his career to the practice of criminal law. Mr. Ceja began his legal career as a felony drug prosecutor, where he prosecuted drug, gang, and violent offenses. Mr. Ceja has first or second chaired almost 100 trials, including murders, drug cases, DWIs, and assaults. In his career as a defense attorney, he has regularly obtained dismissals, not guilty verdicts, and grand jury “no bills” in a wide variety of cases.