I came across an article about sexual assault accusations. I found it appalling. The purpose of the article was to mock legitimate discussion about whether or not all accusations of sexual assault are valid. The author came up with a handy chart, which over-simplifies an extremely complex, life-altering issue. The chart asks multiple questions, including:
“Did you wait more than a year to report your assault?”
“Did you contact the person who assaulted you after the assault?”
“Did you have consensual sexual encounters with the person who assaulted you?”
“Were you friends with the person who assaulted you?”
“Were you dating the person who assaulted you?”
“Were you drunk?”
“Did you stay in a relationship with the person who assaulted you after the fact?”
“Were you dressed in a sexy outfit?”
No matter how you answered the question, all the answers led to the following statement: “Yes. It is possible to have been sexually assaulted no matter what the details of your narrative are. There's no such thing as a ‘perfect victim.'”
All Sexual Assaults are Different: Not All Accusations of Sexual Assault are Valid
Now, while I agree that not all sexual assaults are the same – I disagree with the tone of the article. It illustrates an extremely dangerous mindset prevalent in our culture today: That all sexual assault accusations are valid. As an expert sex crimes defense attorney for over 20 years in Denver, Arapahoe, and Jefferson County, I have successfully defended many clients who were falsely accused of Sexual Assault, Unlawful Sexual Contact, and Sexual Assault on a Child (read about one man who was falsely accused in Weld County, and an evaluation of the false numbers of reported rapes on college campuses). The problem with our culture is that once someone makes an accusation that an assault occurred, the police, District Attorney, and the public all assume the defendant is guilty. This is as unjust as ignoring actual sexual assaults. And, assuming that every sexual assault accusation is valid without any investigation or evidence is disrespectful of true victims of sexual assault. The consequences of a conviction of Sexual Assault are far too serious to take accusations lightly. These consequences include:
Sexual Assault is subject to Colorado's indeterminate sentencing. This means that a person who is convicted of this sexual crime could be sentenced up to life in prison. Their release depends on a decision from the Colorado Parole Board and completion of sex offender treatment overseen by the Sex offender Management Board (SOMB). Unfortunately, there aren't enough treatment providers in D.O.C., so many people are sitting in prison awaiting treatment before they can be released.
Sex offender treatment (overseen by the Sex Offender Management Board – SOMB) is harsh. It is invasive and demeaning. If a person is convicted after a false accusation, they will still be required to undergo the same treatment as a person who habitually targeted children, or a person who committed violent rape. This is unjust treatment for an innocent person, yet the SOMB continues with their ‘one-size-fits-all” treatment program in the state of Colorado.
Registration in Denver
Registered sex offenders must register a confusing list of items and personal information with the police department or sheriff's department in the jurisdiction (County) where they live. Their photo and a list of charges are listed online for the public to see, and many of their basic rights are violated; it can be difficult to get a job or find housing. In fact, some cities have effectually banned sex offenders from living within their limits, because there are so many restrictions.
Sex Offender Intensive
Sex Offender Intensive Supervised Probation (SOISP) is extremely difficult to live under. If a person receives probation instead of prison, they will be subject to mandatory random testing, visits, and call-ins with their probation officer. Many good, organized people fail SOISP simply because of the difficulty of living under all the requirements. Additional restrictions include not contact with children, job limits, no cellphone use, no computer use, and a requirement to get permission to go anywhere other than home.
Facing Sexual Assault Accusations in Denver or Anywhere in Colorado? You Need a Lawyer
If you have been accused of Sexual Assault in Adams, El Paso, or Douglas County, you need to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney immediately. You need to hire a lawyer who is willing to fight hard in the courtroom against the mindset that all accusers and alleged victims are telling the truth. You are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty in our criminal justice system. Unfortunately, DAs, juries, and judges are too afraid of going against the media to truly believe this Constitutional presumption of innocence. The sexual crime defense lawyers at the O'Malley Law Office have successfully defended many people who have been falsely accused of Sexual Assault and other sex offenses. Don't stand alone – work with a lawyer who fights to win.Request a Free Consultation