After allegations of sexual misconduct against film mogul Harvey Weinstein rocked Hollywood to its core several months ago, there has been a slew of new allegations made against other powerful men in various industries seemingly nearly every single day. Whether it’s the flood of #MeToo stories overflowing social media or companies reconsidering their sexual harassment policies, the controversy has ignited the largest national conversation on sexual abuse in recent history.
However, allegations like these are not always true. And unfortunately, simply being accused can result in severe damage to a person’s professional and personal reputation. The main issue with sex crimes is that people are quick to judge and assume the worst—before any evidence is produced.
If you have been accused of sexual assault, it is critical to act quickly in order to protect your rights, reputation, and future. Even if you are innocent, there are several steps you must take or you could face serious consequences.
The following is what to do if you are falsely accused of sexual assault:
- Take these allegations seriously – The first step is to come to terms with the trouble you face. Do not dismiss any accusations of sexual assault, always take them with utmost seriousness and respond accordingly. Innocent folks are convicted of crimes they did not commit all the time, so be cautious. Additionally, educate yourself by searching the internet for information related to your criminal charges, your rights, and the legal system. Prepare for the costs of your defense.
- Obtain legal representation from an experienced attorney – As soon as you find out about the allegations, contact a criminal defense lawyer who has years of successfully handling sex crime cases. Avoid giving any statements to law enforcement authorities or the public without an attorney present.
- Act accordingly – Ensure that you act in a manner that reflects your innocence. Be aware of what you say and do. Avoid being active on social media. Any ill-considered comment or post can cause damage to your defense.
- Gather information for your defense – You can create a timeline in writing, starting from the day you met the accuser and go through today in as much detail as possible. Furthermore, compile a list of potential witnesses and what they can testify to.