An ever-present topic in the media, historic sexual abuse claims are extremely serious.
Unlike a case of recent sexual abuse, there is an inherent difficulty that occurs when a case of historic abuse is reported. DNA evidence could have long disappeared, witness testimonies are not as reliable and of course, memory recall can create inconsistencies with the reports and statements. Nonetheless, if you have been accused of a historic sexual offence, this is a serious crime and should be taken as seriously as a recent offence.
Many people who have been accused of committing such acts often worry about the impact these statements will have on their families, their reputation and how they will be perceived by others, even if they are found innocent. Also, how exactly do you approach such an accusation legally?
In this brief guide how to handle an accusation of historic sexual abuse will be discussed.
With social media, it is easier than ever to contact people that you may not have seen for years. And, if you discover that you have been accused of sexually abusing someone that you haven’t seen for years, it can be tempting to contact them on social media.
This is not a good idea and as any sexual offence solicitor will tell you, it could be interpreted as trying to intimidate them into withdrawing the accusation. Don’t contact them, instead let your sexual offence solicitor handle the statements!
Seek legal advice
With the potential to create devastating outcomes, if you are accused of sexual assault, you should contact a sexual offence solicitor as soon as possible.
They can prove to be worth their weight in gold when it comes to your defence and they will have no doubt handled cases like yours before. They will conduct research, interviews and will work tirelessly to prove your innocence.
If you are found guilty, their work does not stop there; they can negotiate lower sentences and can appeal your case in the event of incarceration.
As mentioned earlier, this can be tricky with cases of historic sexual assaults.
If you have photographs, text messages, emails or other evidence of your contact with the accuser, hand these over to your solicitor at the earliest opportunity.
Even if that email seems unimportant, your solicitor will know how to build a case and will use every piece of evidence in your defence.
Even if you have done nothing wrong, it does not mean you should fail to cooperate with the ongoing investigation.
There will be multiple police interviews, solicitors statements and other areas that you will need to attend and you should always aim to be as cooperative as possible. Even if you are in a meeting with the accusers’ legal team, avoid being aggressive and always aim to provide a truthful account of what transpired. Failure to do so will be held against you and can lead to a tougher sentence being given.