Sexual Abuse Cases
Understanding Charges & Penalties
Sexual abuse consists of forcing sexual actions onto another usually in an intimate relationship without the other person's consent. Often referred to as molestation, this happens typically with a man threatening a woman into sexual activity, but it can also happen with woman towards men.
Various forms of abuse can include unwanted fondling and kissing, touching of genitalia, rape, showing pornography to a child and some forms of sexual harassment. Possibly the most horrific form of sexual abuse is in relation to children.
Children Experiencing Sexual Abuse
The sexual abuse of a child is an extremely serious sex crime. Because a child is the alleged victim, the defendant will be in danger of facing aggressive investigation by law enforcement personnel and prosecution by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office. The penalties for child sexual abuse are also steep, including not only imprisonment and heavy fines but also lifetime sex offender registration. Sex offender registration alone is enough to change your life, limit your opportunities and permanently damage your reputation.
The burden of proof in a child sexual abuse or molestation case will lie with the prosecution. This means that they must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant committed the crime. With sexual abuse cases in particular, there may not be physical evidence of the crime but only circumstantial evidence or witness testimony.
An attorney with the proper resources and who is experienced in handling sex crime cases can use this to your advantage to show weaknesses in the prosecution's case, leaving the jury no choice but to acquit.
Challenging Sexual Abuse Charges
Making sure you have a solid defense to counter aggressive prosecution for sexual abuse is one of the most important steps you can take in the face of these charges. Involving a lawyer will enable you to get the information you need to make the right choices about your case while also receiving the legal representation necessary to fight your charges every step of the way.
For example, thorough pre-trial research by your attorney may uncover evidence that the allegations are false or that there is simply not enough evidence to secure a conviction. This may result in your lawyer being able to negotiate with the prosecution to have your charges reduced or dropped altogether.
If your case does go to trial, there are strategies your attorney can employ in successfully communicating your side of the story to the judge and jury, while fighting tooth and nail to prove that there is insufficient evidence to convict.