Many of the cases at Smith Blythe, PC involve clients who have been falsely accused of criminal sexual conduct by other people. In these cases, our clients frequently wonder if they can sue their accusers after suffering financial loss defending the allegations, loss to their reputation and frequently, loss of their jobs, children, homes and more. Allegations of criminal sexual conduct are very serious — the consequences can be devastating as a conviction can result in prison time and registration as a sex offender. This question can only be answered on a case-by-case basis and most often, this type of relief is not possible. In some circumstances, however, it may be.
Recently in the news, the story of Brian Banks made headlines. In 2002, a California woman accused him of raping her and he was brought up on formal charges of criminal sexual conduct. Mr. Banks was a rising, promising football player and had his football career in front of him, but the allegations of criminal sexual conduct took all of his opportunities away. He was convicted after a trial and was sent to prison, despite the fact that he was innocent. The woman's motive in this particular case was to obtain a large monetary settlement from the school district where she claimed she was assaulted.
Mr. Banks spent several years in prison until the California Innocence Project was able to show that he was truly innocent in 2012. His accuser was audio recorded as she admitted that she made up the allegations of criminal sexual conduct against him. She is now being fined and has to repay her settlement, however, the years that Mr. Banks spent in prison for a crime he did not commit cannot be returned. There is no doubt Mr. Banks lost opportunities that he can never get back because of false accusations of criminal sexual conduct.
Shannon Smith is a skilled attorney who can help if you or a loved one has been falsely accused of criminal sexual conduct in Michigan. Please call our office to set up a consultation.