Sex Crimes: Dispelling Common Misconceptions
There's no arguing that those who have been victimized by sexual predators have to endure extremely challenging circumstances. That said, the victims aren't the only ones who have a hard time ahead of them. Those who are falsely accused of these sex crimes or who made one wrong decision will have to endure the potential loss of their reputation, their careers, their families, and even their freedom. With so many uncertainties that come with these cases, there are bound to be misconceptions that continue to permeate society. If you find yourself with a need to develop a defense against sex crime charges, you know someone who has been victimized, or you simply want to educate yourself about these kinds of cases, our post can shed some light on the truth behind some of the most common myths involving sexual assault and other sex crimes.
MYTH: Women usually lie about being sexually assaulted.
Truth: Without a doubt, there is a percentage of individuals who falsely report that a sex crime has been committed. But it's likely a much lower number than you think. Data shows that false reports comprise anywhere from 2% to 8% of all reported sex crimes -- a pretty small number that's about the same as the number of false reports of other crimes. The reality is that victims are much more likely to not report at all than to lie about a sexual assault that never occurred. In Ohio, sexual assaults were reported at a rate of 86.9 per 100,000 population in 2015. And while the awareness surrounding sexual assault has undoubtedly increased since then, that doesn't mean that more people are coming forward to falsely accuse. Of course, it certainly can and does happen. But it's actually not the norm. Your lawyer can mount a viable defense against sex crime charges whether you've been falsely accused or whether the accusations have merit.
MYTH: Those who actually commit sexual assault do so because they're lonely, intoxicated, or can't find a partner any other way.
Truth: A lot of people believe that sexual assault is about sexual desire. But the truth is that it's about power, control, and violence. Just because a person doesn't "need" to assault anyone doesn't mean they can't be guilty. And conversely, just because a person is drunk or has been rejected in the past doesn't mean they're more likely to commit this type of crime. Furthermore, most perpetrators who commit sexual assault are not strangers to the victim; they're more likely to be part of their family or in some way known to the person being victimized. Getting "carried away" by desire isn't typically seen as a valid defense against sex crime charges, but there are other possible defenses that your lawyer can employ to defend you in a court of law.
MYTH: Prostitution is a victimless crime and those involved in it are consenting adults.
Truth: Unfortunately, this really isn't the case. While there are likely some people involved in the sex industry who enjoy their job, the reality is that many others have limited alternatives. There are also those who have been trafficked into the industry against their will; some of these individuals may come from other cities or countries, while others may be minors. Those who enter into "the life" willingly may be abused by others behind the scenes. The power dynamics at play make engaging in or encouraging prostitution a crime with very real victims, just like with other sex crimes.
MYTH: If I'm falsely accused of a sex offense, I don't need a criminal defense attorney.
Truth: A false accusation has the power to completely derail your life as you know it. Although you might like to trust that the criminal justice system will protect you, you cannot afford to take this chance. Whether you are innocent or guilty of the crime, it's essential to contact an attorney who can develop a defense against sex crime charges you face. A claim of innocence may not be enough to keep you out of jail if you don't have reputable help. But with assistance from an attorney, you'll have a better chance of moving past these accusations in a positive way.For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact our firm today.