What Are The Best Rape Defenses in New York
Rape allegations are serious business and unfortunately, many allegations of sexual misconduct are not brought in good faith. A person accused of rape or other kinds of sexual misconduct should be ready for a long fight. What are the most common defenses in rape cases?
Total denial is one commonly used defense. In this case, the defense argument is that the crime never happened. It could be that the defendant didn’t even know the victim or hasn’t been anywhere near her when the crime happened or the defendant will argue that he simply did not commit the crime.
How can the defense support the argument that the crime never happened if the defendant and the victim knew each other and were together at the time the rape allegedly took place? One way is to examine any evidence tends to show the prosecution witness’ reasons or motives for lying. In many cases the complaining witnesses were found to be lying to retaliate against the defendant or for some other reason.
In child abuse cases it may happen that the police or children services agents are biased and use certain techniques during interviewing the children victims, which effect their testimonies, for example by creating false memories.
Consent is a common defense available in sex crime cases when rape or other sexual misconduct is alleged. The defense of consent works as follows: the defendant doesn’t deny that sexual activity happened but argues that it was with the alleged victim’s consent. There was no force, no threat of force, no type of coercion whatsoever.
How can the defendant convince the court that there was consent? This is where aggressive defense techniques come into play. We would look into any available evidence that would suggest the lack of coercion. It could be email or text communications, hotel, club, or lounge videos, social media posts, history of any relationship between the parties involved, and of course, medical evidence. Medical evidence could be very helpful in establishing that the type of the injuries the alleged victim may have suffered typically don’t come as the result of nonconsensual sex.
Obviously, there is no consent if the victim is underage or if the defendant was in the position of special trust, such as a doctor or a therapist treating a handicapped person.
Let’s say the prosecutor establishes the defendant’s identity and proof of some sexual activity. However, based on the facts, it is not conclusive at all that the defendant committed the crime which has been charge. In other words, the defendant may admit some sexual activity but argue that he is innocent of the particular crime charged in the indictment. At most, this could result in an acquittal, and at least, in charges lowered to a lesser offense. For example, in a case where the person is accused of unlawful touching, meaning unwanted touching with intent to obtain some sexual pleasure, the defendant may admit the fact that touching took place but deny that there was any illicit intent such as, for example, the touching was unintentional or that it was some sort of playful activity.
The Mental Defense
Under the mental defense, the person accused of a sex crime can argue that he suffers from a serious mental condition which makes it difficult or impossible to form criminal intent and should eliminate or reduce his criminal liability.
Defenses to Statutory Rape
Mistake of Fact
Statutory rape is a strict liability crime, meaning that it does not matter if the defendant believed, although mistakenly, that the victim was over the consent age. That is true even if we are dealing with a reasonable mistake of fact, like for instance in a case where the victim looked old enough and told the defendant so. It is still no defense to a charge of statutory rape.
Rape and other sex crimes allegations can range from legitimate complaints to outright fabrications made by unstable or disgruntled “victims”. Most rape cases boil down to one simple issue – was the sexual contact consensual or not. We have represented a number or clients whose defense was that the contact took place but it was on consent. It is very important not to discuss the case with police if they approach you before you speak with an attorney. For the most part, police don’t care what happened, they are just interested in obtaining some sort of statement they can use as admission of guilt and make an arrest. It is equally important not to discuss rape and other sexual misconduct accusations with the “victim” over the phone. We have seen cases where a disgruntled “victim” for personal reasons made allegations of sex crime to police who asked the “victim” to call the person on the phone, and engage him in a recorded conversation. Most people confronted like that are likely to say something innocent, which could be interpreted as an admission of guilt.
The consent defense could a very effective technique if explored properly. If you have been accused of a sex crime in New York, please contact our experienced defense attorneys today at 212-577-6677.