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Defending Against Sexual Assault Charges

Defending Against Sexual Assault ChargesSexual assault charges can be fragile for prosecutors because of the nature of the evidence. The prosecution must prove that:

  • The defendant committed the sex act; and
  • The accuser did not consent to the act.

If the accuser cannot provide reliable testimony or physical evidence of the sexual assault, there is little chance that the case will end in a conviction. However, a skilled defense against sexual assault charges will not rely on the prosecution failing to prove its case. If you have been charged with sexual assault, your defense can be proactive in explaining your side of the case and finding holes in the prosecution’s evidence.

Physical Evidence

Part of a sexual assault case is establishing that the assault occurred and that the defendant was present at the time of the incident.

The prosecution will need witnesses or documents in order to confirm your location at the time of the incident. If you were somewhere else at the time of the alleged assault, you can provide your own witnesses or documents as proof.

Absent a witness to the alleged incident, your accuser must provide results from a medical examination to establish physical evidence of sexual assault. The examiner would have looked for signs of forced sexual activity by:

  • Documenting any injuries that the accuser has;
  • Checking for evidence of sexual intercourse; and
  • Collecting DNA samples from the accuser’s body or clothing.

Reliable Testimony

Proving sexual assault charges may depend on the testimony of the accuser and witnesses. Corroborating witness can lend credibility to your accuser’s account of the incident. Your defense can weaken the prosecution’s case by explaining that the accuser and witnesses:

  • Contradict each other in their accounts of the incident;
  • Have been inconsistent when explaining key details;
  • Have incentive to lie about the sexual assault; or
  • Have histories of being untrustworthy.

Presenting Yourself

A defendant’s appearance and actions during a sexual assault trial can influence the judge and jury. In what may come down to a “he said-she said” argument, the impression of your character will help others determine whether to trust your testimony. How not to behave may be as important as how you do behave:

  • Do not act combatively or defiantly. This may support your accuser’s depiction of you;
  • Determine your account of the incident early on and remain consistent when telling it; and
  • Be honest in your testimony, even if it embarrasses you. Being caught in a lie will cast doubt on your credibility.

Sexual Assault Defense

A conviction on sexual assault charges may result in prison time and inclusion on a sex offender list. A DuPage County criminal defense lawyer can protect you against false claims. Schedule an appointment with Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, by calling 630-260-9647.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K11-1.20

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