Earlier this year I came across an article about a soccer coach who was accused of Sexual Assault on a Child – C.R.S. 18-3-405, and Enticement of a Child – C.R.S. 18-3-305 in Denver County. According to reports, the coach allegedly lured a 13-year-old boy into his home in order to assault him. Whenever I see a story like this it reminds me of how vulnerable certain professions and hobbies can be. Anyone who works with children in Adams, Douglas, or Jefferson County needs to be wary of the kinds of accusations which can be made. Now, I don't know whether or not this soccer coach is guilty, but I do know I have defended many people who were falsely accused of assaulting a child. Many of them worked with children on a daily basis.[pullquote align=”center” textalign=”center” width=”80%”]I don't know if the soccer coach is guilty, but I do know I have defended many people who were falsely accused by children.[/pullquote]
Working with Children Makes You Vulnerable for False Accusations
Not a day goes by without another person who works with children being accused of sexually assaulting a child. Gymnastics coaches, teachers, youth pastors, security guards at schools, counselors, Tae Kwando instructors, hockey coaches – all are vulnerable to accusations of sex crimes against children. If you work with children in El Paso, Clear Creek, or Arapahoe County, you need to be extremely careful. All of these people work with children from all kinds of situations. Some children are raised by loving parents. Some are raised by parents who abuse them. Some children haven't been sexually abused by family members. Some children have been abused for years. Most children watch sexually explicit television and movies and are exposed to pornography. There is no way to guarantee a child won't accuse you of molesting them. There are many reasons children make false accusations; whether it be for attention, getting back at their parents for something, or because they are being abused by someone close to them they don't want to harm. The problem with accusations from children is that the court doesn't need any physical evidence for a conviction. This is because District Attorneys, judges, and juries are blinded by a desire to seek vengeance when children are the alleged victim, rather than hearing the truth.
Working with Children? Be Careful!
If you work with children on a daily basis, you need to be aware that you are vulnerable to false accusations. Here are a few tips to protect yourself against false accusations:
- Never be alone with a child. This can be difficult if you are a music teacher or one-on-one coach. If you can't have other children or an adult in the room with you, have some way of protecting your reputation. Leave a door open to another room while you're teaching, or record all your lessons on video or an audio device.
- Be especially careful with troubled kids. If you work with at-risk youth, be extra careful. Work with another person at all times, and simply say “no” if situations arise where you will be alone with them.
- If you receive a ticket or summons for a sex crime against a child, don't panic. Instead, contact an understanding, skilled criminal defense lawyer to get involved early on in your case. A criminal defense attorney will be able to advise you of your rights and help gather evidence to prove your innocence.