Being accused of criminal sexual assault can be devasting. Along with lengthy prison sentences if convicted, defendants will also have to register as a sex offender, which can affect all aspects of one's life. There are several defenses that can counter a charge of criminal sexual assault.
Like in any criminal charge, the most basic defense is actual innocence. Misidentification by the victim is a possibility in sexual assault cases. A defendant may also present an “alibi.”
An “alibi” or misidentification defense requires evidence to support the claim. If available, DNA can accurately and reliably establish whether a defendant was present at a crime scene.
The prosecution has the burden of proving the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, if defendant can raises a reasonable doubt as to whether he or she actually committed the crime, chances for acquittal are higher.
One of the elements of sexual assault is that the sexual behavior must occur against the will of the victim. Therefore, if the defendant can demonstrate that the victim consented to the sexual contact, it will provide a solid defense to the allegations of criminal sexual assault.
However, in certain cases, consent is impossible to prove. If the alleged victim is a minor, mentally challenged, or incapable of understanding the sexual nature of the behavior, it is impossible for the victim to consent to defendant's actions.
Insanity or Mental Incapacity
Defendants may also be able to claim that they had a mental disease or defect at the time of the crime. If a mentally challenged individual has no understanding that unwanted sexual contact is proscribed by the law, they could mount an effective defense based on mental incapacity. Such a defense could remove criminal liability for defendant's actions.
If you have been contacted by the police for a sex offense investigation or have been arrested for a sex crime, you should contact the experienced criminal defense law firm of John W Callahan, Ltd.