During a preliminary examination, a 13-year-old girl testified that a 45-year-old man that lived with her had sex with her multiple times while her mother was away at work. The girl stated that the man discussed sex with her before and the first time he had sex with her she was 12. She gave a detailed account of all of the sexual activity that happened between her and the man and the activities that took place after, like showering together and washing bed sheets. She testified that it hurt and she didn't like it. The girl said she spoke with a friend about it first and then told her mother about it because she didn't feel comfortable. While being cross-examined, the girl also explained how she wanted the man out of her house and she wrote in a journal about the incidents because the man told her to. The girl was also forensically interviewed at a child advocacy center.
When the case went to trial in Bay County, several people testified, including the girl. A sexual assault examiner gave testimony about how she examined the young teen eight days after one of the sexual incidents occurred. She stated that there were no injuries to the girl, but also said that in some cases of sexual assault there are no injuries to the person. The nurse also said that the girl's injuries could have healed within the eight days. Forensic examiners testified that they found no DNA evidence from the bed, and there was no DNA evidence found from the girl's examination swabs.
The only evidence that could be relied upon for trial was the testimony of the girl, which is the situation in most criminal sexual conduct cases. The defense attorney focused on the girl's journal and the theory that she made a false allegation against the defendant for trial. The girl's journal became available as evidence and several pages explained how she hated the man and wanted him out of the house. The defense attorney argued that the allegations were false because of the girl's hate towards the man.
After about two hours of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty on all counts, and the man was exonerated and released after spending a year in jail.
The Law Offices of Shannon M. Smith is very familiar with defending those who are falsely accused of criminal sexual conduct. In most criminal sexual conduct cases there is little or no evidence, so it is extremely important to get as much back story and information as possible, as the defense attorney in the case above did with the journal. It is also important to have expert witnesses on your behalf, such as one experienced in forensic interviewing and child psychology.
It is imperative that an attorney experienced in sex crimes is retained on your behalf and not a general defense attorney, due to the extensive nature of criminal sexual conduct cases. Our office is dedicated to defending those accused of criminal sexual conduct and other sex crimes.
If you or a loved one is facing charges of criminal sexual conduct, or trying to appeal a conviction of criminal sexual conduct, call our office to set up a consultation.