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Rape or Sexual Assault: Accusations or Gossip vs. Innocence and Texas Criminal Defense These Days

Rape and sexual assault are serious issues. These crimes deserve serious consideration and discourse. However, sexual assault charges and claims of rape are also two very hot topics in the news as well as social media in 2016.

And today, it’s possible for someone merely to imply that one of these crimes has been committed with both the victim and the alleged perpetrator having their personal (and often professional) reputations permanently changed as a result. Welcome to the power of social media and the Internet.

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1. Bill Cosby Sexual Assault Charges Continue Along With Trial by Media

Consider this past week, for example, where Bill Cosby’s criminal case for sexual assault has been allowed to proceed even though it’s pretty clear that there was a deal made between his lawyers and the head prosecutor at the time that no charges would be filed.

Why so clear? Well, there’s the emails that were revealed by CNN for one thing. Another? Cosby did testify in the deposition without taking his Fifth Amendment protections. No way he would have done that — no way his defense attorney would have allowed him to do it — without a deal in place. (For more on that case, read our earlier post.)

So, Cosby’s case goes up on appeal. No surprise there.

Also no surprise: the damage that has already been done to the man, both personally and professionally, because of the public discussion of his alleged sex crimes. He’s lost public favor, true, but he’s also been hit hard financially. He’s suffered significant damage and it’s likely to continue to happen.

Remember, Bill Cosby is innocent until proven guilty — as are you, and your son or daughter, brother or grandchild, when they are accused of wrongdoing. That’s supposed to be our system of justice, but it’s not today’s reality.

And when Kanye West tweeted yesterday that “Cosby is Innocent!!!” it’s easy to predict that Kanye West is going to get hit hard as well. Because when someone points the finger at you for rape or sexual assault, most people today are going to assume that the person is guilty. No one wants to bother with those scales of justice.

Regardless of due process. Regardless of the criminal justice system and innocence being a legal presumption under a jury finds otherwise.

Regardless of the fact that innocent people do get arrested and charged — and even convicted — of crimes in this country. Need proof of that? Go read all those stories over at the Innocence Project.

2. Dallas Sexual Assault and Rape Arrests Are Jumping Up

It’s been reported that the number of arrests and accusations of sexual assault and rape in Dallas has rapidly increased. Media reports are explaining this spike in various ways, including victims feeling less of a social stigma for coming forward and reporting the crime. See, “Sex Assaults Up In Dallas; Police Say There’s More To The Story,” in yesterday’s CBSDFW coverage.

Dallas Police are also warning that new social media apps like Tinder and Kik provide criminals with a new method of trolling for victims. However, they cannot confirm how many of 2015’s 782 reported rapes were connected to social media and online dating sites. See, “Rapists increasingly using dating apps, social media to lure victims, Dallas police warn,” reported by the Dallas Morning News on February 1, 2016.

3. Rape and Sexual Assault Investigations and Arrests of Surprising Suspects

The increase in reports and complaints will mean that more people are being investigated for rape and sexual assault — and thereby becoming at risk for permanent damage to their lives and reputations, as well as their friends and family members — as well as more people being arrested on sex crimes charges in North Texas.

Expect this increase in sex crimes investigations to continue in 2016. Arrests, too. It’s gonna happen. Thing is, the people that are going to be investigated and charged look to be more likely to be those in a different socio-economic level than the public has seen in the past.

Some of these arrests are going to be shocking to the community. Like Bill Cosby’s scandal has been to America.

Consider the following DFW sexual assault accusations made in just the past 60 days:

And the increasing number of college students with bright futures that are being investigated and charged with rape and sexual assault. Rapes on campus is a new criminal justice trending topic. There is an outcry that Texas administrators need to do a lot more about protecting students against sex crimes. Consider the criticism that the Baylor University President received this week because his public letter denouncing rape on campus wasn’t deemed harsh enough.

(For more about college rape and sexual assault in Texas, read our earlier posts including these here and here.)

Sexual Assault Allegations and Rape Claims Are Very Serious

It’s so easy right now for everyone to assume that a person who is implicated in an investigation for rape or who is investigated for sexual assault has done a very bad thing. There’s an assumption of guilt that must be overcome here, and that’s the sad reality.

Not everyone accused of rape or sexual assault is guilty. First of all, they are innocent until convicted of a crime. But that’s legalese, right?

It’s also true that they are innocent sometimes because they didn’t do it. The majority of cases where men are freed by the Innocence Project are cases where they have been wrongfully convicted of rape or sexual assault.

Let us not forget the people who have been permanently harmed by rape allegations.

And let us not disrespect our criminal justice system by continuing these assumptions of guilt and trials by media or social online gossip — it’s dangerous to us all.

Targets of Gossip and Innuendo, Much Less Official Sex Crimes Investigations by Law Enforcement, Need to Ramp Up Their Criminal Defense ASAP

If you are being investigated or the subject of gossip (online included) for sexual assault or rape, then you may be penalized and punished and harmed independently of what law enforcement is doing.

These kinds of allegations and innuendos are treated differently than other kinds of criminal behavior (like identity theft, say, or embezzlement or money laundering). There’s a stigma that attaches.

Careers can be damaged. Scholarships can be threatened. Jobs can be lost. Relationships can be harmed and reputations tainted.

Accordingly, it’s extremely important to begin a criminal defense strategy as soon as possible here, and to be aggressive in defending your rights.

For more information, read this in-depth article as well as checking out our web resources page on sex crimes and Michael Lowe’s Case Results.

 

TOP 10 MISTAKES IN SEXUAL ASSAULT AND INDECENCY WITH A CHILD CASES – Dallas Justice Blog


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