In late 2013, a teenage male was accused of sexually assaulting a female relative and was subsequently charged with first degree criminal sexual conduct and two other felonies related to the assault. At a preliminary examination that took place last year, the teenager, Justin Hannahs, was charged with a second count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Hannahs posted bond and, according to the alleged victim, sent the girl a threatening e-mail saying that he was going to kill her "after having fun first."
After the prosecutor withdrew Hannahs's plea, the defense lawyer hired forensic experts to check computers that Hannahs and the alleged victims used around the time the e-mail was sent. The forensic experts reported that the evidence found within the computers directly disputed evidence that was given against Hannahs in the August 4, 2014 preliminary exam by the alleged victim. She said that Hannahs sent her the threatening email at the exam, when in reality she sent it to herself.
The prosecutors in the case chose to drop the two charges of first degree criminal sexual conduct and other felonies relating to the crime when they received the forensic information about the e-mails. The prosecutor on the case commented that he believed that they could not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt due to lack of credibility in the evidence.
Saginaw County prosecutors didn't stop there, however. They also filed charges against the alleged victim in the case for perjury. An arrest warrant stated that the alleged victim lied under oath when talking about the e-mails by saying they came from Hannahs.
It is well known in criminal sexual conduct cases that the punishment is severe, and it often doesn't take a lot to make allegations against a person. In criminal sexual conduct cases, charges can be brought even if the alleged sexual assault came many years before, or if there is no physical injury to an alleged victim or physical evidence. Often times when false allegations are made, the person making the allegations gets away unscathed if caught lying, while the accused person is damaged in many ways. It can be damaging to the accused's family in terms of parental termination or divorce, the reputation of the accused, the accused's employment, and the accused might have to spend unnecessary time in jail.
The Law Offices of Shannon M. Smith is familiar with representing those who are falsely accused of criminal sexual conduct, child sexual abuse, and other sex crimes. Our office is dedicated to providing the best defense it possibly can to each client we agree to represent. We understand that these allegations can be extremely difficult to handle for the accused person because it is something we see frequently. If you or a loved one is being falsely accused of criminal sexual conduct, another sex crime, or child abuse, do not hesitate to contact our office to set up a consultation.