The embarrassment that frequently accompanies sex crime charges can cloud awareness of basic facts and legal rights. The state must prove guilt. Police and prosecutors often make assumptions regarding guilt. Children and even adults can quickly become confused in alleged sex-crime scenarios. And adults can easily manipulate children's testimony without even meaning to.
At the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, law firm of Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC, we work to separate fact and fiction and assumptions and evidence following sex crime accusations, and have successfully handled over 100 sex crime cases. Additionally, lawyer Jeff Engle is a former sex crime prosecutor and prosecuted 25 sex crime cases to jury trial as an assistant district attorney. We are highly experienced in all aspects of sex crime law and procedure, and can provide experienced legal help following charges of:
- Child molestation, child sexual abuse and sex with a minor
- Sexual assault
- Solicitation and prostitution charge
- Possession and distribution of child porn, including Internet child porn
- Indecent exposure, lewd conduct, public exposure
Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini aggressively protects the rights of anyone who has been falsely accused of committing a sex crime in Pennsylvania.
Putting Together A Strong Defense For You
We have conducted numerous high-level investigations relating to all types of sex crimes. Your case will likely hinge on prosecutors' ability to prove criminal activity actually occurred. We can investigate issues such as:
- Is there physical evidence that the crime occurred as charged?
- Does technological evidence truly indicate that illegal pornographic or enticement activity occurred online?
- Was the complaint filed promptly and in a timely manner?
- Is a child witness confused and unable to distinguish between legal and illegal activity? Is the child being inappropriately coached, prompted or persuaded by an adult?
We can work aggressively and effectively to combat your charges, and have achieved numerous acquittals, dismissals of charges and reductions of charges following sex crime accusations.
What The Prosecution Needs To Prove Its Case
Prosecutors must have solid proof of your wrongdoing to gain a conviction. The following are key things needed in most cases to successfully prosecute someone for a sex crime:
- Corroboration — Is there physical evidence that links the defendant to the crime. Tissue, blood, saliva, or DNA evidence found at the scene of the crime or on the victim of a rape case are crucial to establishing a good prosecution. Other evidence may be the physical appearance of abuse, as in the case of a child victim, is there a torn hymen if a female or other signs of traumatic injury to the victim's body. The evidence will CORROBORATE the victim's testimony.
- Confession — Has the defendant or suspect confessed to the crime(s)? If so, who, when and why did they make the confession? What were the circumstances for the admission of liability or partial admission, such as being there, but not engaging in the activity alleged? A confession must be intelligently, voluntarily and knowingly made.
- Credibility — Can the victim accurately recall the events that comprise the allegation? Or, are there contradictions, inaccuracies, or omissions surrounding their statement? How many statements have they given? Have they been recorded? Does the victim have a sordid history and bad reputation for truthfulness? Remember, a victim's word alone is enough to convict a defendant of a crime, if believed by a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. Is the victim's story CREDIBLE?
- A victim's testimony — There is a fundamental evidentiary principle that says no witness gets a pass on credibility — at the top of the list is an accuser.
- A thorough investigation — The lowest grade investigation and case development skill would require that the prosecution look at anything the accuser has said and see if there is any independent way to confirm or refute their assertions.
The only defense to an accusation with a corrupt intent is a lack of competence. It is the role of the defense attorney to exploit this.
If you face sex crime charges for you which you feel wrongly accused of falsely accused, contact the experienced criminal defense law firm of Shaffer & Engle Law Office, LLC. We provide free initial consultations, are available for evening and weekend appointments and operate two offices for your convenience. To contact us, call 717-827-4074 or 866-765-0706.
Learn more about sex crimes on our Criminal Law Blog.