As an experienced criminal defense attorney, I have spent 25 years poring over police reports, listening to 911 calls, and finding evidence in criminal cases in Denver, Arapahoe, and Jefferson County. I have defended clients accused of many crimes, but the majority of these crimes are crimes like Sexual Assault or Unlawful Sexual Contact. The police in Denver, Centennial, and Aurora investigate sexual crimes differently. Here is an overview of how Sexual Assault crimes are investigated so you can have insight into how the system works.
Step Number One: Allegations are Made
1. An Accusation is Made
The first step in a Sexual Assault investigation begins after a young woman or a child makes an accusation that they were subjected to unwanted sexual touching. Penetration, force, or injury are not necessary. This is done either by calling the police directly, or someone calling the police after talking to an adult or child.
2. Basic Report
Once the police have received a report of Sexual Assault, they send a patrol officer to the scene to get a basic report from the alleged victim.
3. An Investigator is Assigned
Next, an investigator is assigned specifically to look into the case. This investigator will meet with the alleged victim, and the parents of the alleged victim (if it is a child), in order to get a general idea of the accusations.
4. For Child Cases, a Forensic Interview is Scheduled
If the alleged victim is a child, the investigator will schedule a forensic interview for the child. Vague questions will be asked during this interview, such as: “Why are you here?”; “What happened next?” Children often make up stories during these interviews, but the police ignore anything the child says which could prove they are lying.
Next, the detective will interview people who will support the accusations of the alleged victim. When deciding who to interview, the police avoid questioning anyone who opposes the story told by the alleged victim – they aren't looking for the truth, they're looking for a conviction.
6. Pretext Calls Arranged
During Sexual Assault investigations, the police often employ a questionable tactic called a pretext call. For this tactic, the police have the alleged victim come to the police station and call the person they have accused. A device is used which makes the alleged victim's caller id show up on their accuser's phone. Then, the alleged victim asks the defendant why they did it, trying to elicit a confession. The entire phone conversation is recorded by the police and used as evidence. Even if a person doesn't confess to a crime, everything they say will be used against them in court.
7. Investigator Speaks to the Defendant
Next, the detective will try to contact the defendant in the Sexual Assault case. This is done either in person, or over the phone. In some cases, the investigator will ask the accused to come into the police station for an interview. The investigator will be sure to inform the defendant he isn't under arrest, and is free to leave, according to the required Miranda advisement. Next, the investigating detective will put pressure on the accused to confess or admit harmful facts.
8. Arrest and Court Appearance
Usually, at the end of the interview, the accused is arrested and brought to the court. There, they will be advised on the charges of Sexual Assault and have their bail / bond set.
My Insight as a Criminal Defense Lawyer
I have been a sex crimes defense attorney for 25 years in Douglas, Adams, and El Paso County. During this time, I have witnessed how Sexual Assault cases are investigated. Now, it's important to keep in mind that Sexual Assault cases are serious – many of them carry mandatory prison time and/or lifetime imprisonment. Here are my insights into how Sexual Assault cases are investigated:
No Evidence Required: No physical evidence is needed for a conviction of Sexual Assault or Sexual Assault on a Child. In fact, most sex crime cases don't require any evidence at all for an arrest and conviction.
No Difficult Questions: Interviews with the alleged victims never include the difficult questions that demand the truth. Instead, vague questions are employed because investigators want to be “supportive” of the victim.
Ignoring the Evidence: The police and District Attorney always believe the alleged victim. This is true even in cases where the evidence shows they are lying. This is because they are terrified of criticism from special interest groups (victim's rights and feminist groups) that they aren't supportive of a victim of a sexual crime.
Tricks Employed: The police use tricks to try to get people to confess to a crime. These tricks include the pretext call tactic and outright lies. In fact, in one of our Sexual Assault cases, the police told our client there was an eyewitness to the assault. There wasn't one.
Not Looking for Truth: Detectives, investigators, and the police aren't looking for the truth. They don't want to know what really happened. Instead, they are gathering evidence to use against the accused in the courtroom, ignoring evidence which shows they are innocent.
Arrests: The police will always make an arrest once they have gotten all the statements they can get from the accused.
Why You Need a Lawyer During Sexual Assault Investigations
The deck is always stacked against the accused, which is why you need the expertise of an aggressive lawyer in the courtroom.
If you've been contacted by the police regarding a Sexual Assault case, don't hesitate to contact an aggressive criminal defense lawyer to fight on your behalf and keep you informed of your rights. The deck is always stacked against the accused in Sexual Assault cases. The police will employ every tactic in the book to confuse the accused and trick them into giving them information. You never should speak with the police. Instead, contact one of our hard-hitting criminal defense lawyers who will fight for your rights when they are being ignored by the government. Don't try to convince the police you are innocent. They will never believe you. You need an advocate in court who believes your story and fights to prove your innocence to the judge or jury.Request a Free Consultation