Being falsely accused of assault, rape, aggravated rape, or sexual assault is a delicate situation. False allegations of rape and assault carry a lasting impact on your reputation, even if you deny them. Rape and assault are among the most serious offenses, and simply being accused can change people’s perceptions about you. These crimes carry such a strong social stigma that a false accusation can damage your relationships with your friends, family, and may even cost you your job.
If you have been falsely accused of rape or assault in West Palm Beach, you cannot simply ignore these accusations. Giving up the fight to protect your reputation gives more fuel to the other side. Silence is not your friend in this situation as it can mean more people will side with your accuser. Rape in and of itself is a highly complex crime that is difficult to defend against, which is why you need to get an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.
Why are rape allegations so damaging?
False rape accusations hurt people on both sides — those who are falsely accused or wrongfully charged or convicted, and real rape victims. A common statistic that surfaces regarding instances of false accusations of rape is that they account for 2%-8% of all rape reports. Still, there is a much higher percentage of unfounded rape reports that have been deemed as such by law enforcement. These are reports of rape incidents that police determined did not actually occur.
When false rape accusations surface, real rape victims are discouraged from reporting their rapes, believing that law enforcement and society at large will judge them or disbelieve their accounts. If your accuser is believable, you can even be charged or even convicted of a crime you did not commit for which you’ll pay dearly with years of your life behind bars. Even if your charges are dropped or you are exonerated, your reputation can suffer considerable harm. You must begin insulating yourself from the negative effects of a false accusation immediately.
Why was I falsely accused of rape?
Many people believe that women falsely accuse men of rape after they have consensual sexual intercourse that they regret; however, studies show this is extremely rare. More typically, the people who come forward about rape that didn’t happen include:
- People who need an alibi, such as teens who don’t want to get caught breaking curfew
- People who cheat on their partners
- People who need medical attention
- People who crave attention and sympathy
- People who suffer from a mental illness or psychiatric condition like compulsive lying
False rape reports are hardly ever due to regret or revenge. Often, they differ from real rape reports in that false victims tend to report violent rapes more frequently than real victims because they believe law enforcement will take their rape reports more seriously. Also, these reports commonly accuse complete strangers of rape; yet, studies show that police are more likely to assume that reports in which the victim knows the suspect are false since they’re likely to believe that the act was consensual. False rape reporters also have a more coherent timeline of events and tend to file a report within 24 hours of the “rape.”
How do I fight back?
The first thing you need to do after you have been accused of rape is to stay away from your accuser and seek a strong rape and assault defense attorney to represent you in court. Even if you think the accusation is absurd or that there can’t possibly be any evidence to support it, your reputation is in serious jeopardy if your accuser goes to the police and files a report.
Work closely with your defense attorney to think of possible motives for the false accusation. You need to invest in the best resources to build a strong defense.
Choosing the Right Attorney to Fight a False Rape Report
At The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel, attorney Brian Gabriel has served West Palm Beach for over 30 years providing criminal defense for those accused of rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, and assault and battery. He holds a favorable reputation among judges, prosecutors, police officers, and fellow attorneys in Palm Beach County and is ranked one of the National Trial Lawyers’ Top 100 Trial Lawyers. Call 561-622-5575 for a free consultation or complete a contact form. Any information you provide will be kept confidential and will allow Mr. Gabriel to help you make some of the most important decisions of your life.