Being accused of a sex crime can ruin your entire life. You may think that this could never happen to you, but sometimes people can be confused or have a different take on what happened during a situation, and you may find yourself charged with a sex crime.
South Carolina takes sex crimes seriously, which is why it is important to mount an aggressive defense.
As with any criminal case, the prosecution must prove you committed the sex crime beyond a reasonable doubt. They must do this with direct evidence.
Evidence is usually provided through witness testimony and/or physical evidence.
If your defense is mistaken identity, DNA evidence could establish that you were not the perpetrator of the crime. You may also have an alibi, or someone who can testify that you were with them at the time of the crime, and therefore could not have committed it.
If you did have a sexual encounter, but believed it was consensual, there will likely be physical evidence.
However, the prosecution must still prove the sexual contact was not consensual. This is typically when the case becomes a “he-said, she-said” situation.
This means the jury’s job is to decide who is more credible, or believable. There are many ways you can attack witness credibility.
If the alleged victim was under the influence of alcohol or drugs when the sexual activity took place, this could be used to show they may not have an accurate memory of what happened.
You can also show that the alleged victim has a bias against you for some reason.
For example, if you were in a relationship at the time of the sexual encounter and you ended the relationship shortly thereafter, those facts could be used to show the alleged victim might be motivated by feelings of revenge.
Look for inconsistencies in the alleged victim’s statements about what happened. They most likely gave a statement to the police when they reported the crime and during any depositions.
These statements should match the testimony they give at trial. Any differences in testimony could weaken their credibility.
The consequences of a sex crime are serious. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney at your side is essential.