Sex crimes come with immense stigma and harsh punishments. Communities, especially parents, may turn against anyone accused of the crime—even before their guilt is proven. If you’re facing charges of child sexual assault, indecency, solicitation, or pornography, you need a tough defense lawyer on your case.
Bexar County Child Sex Crimes
So far this year, over 300 residents of Bexar County have been arrested on child sex charges. The charges range from:
- Indecency with a child
- Sexual assault of a child
- Aggravated sexual assault of a child
- Super aggravated sexual assault of a child
- Possession of child pornography
Thus far, no Texan has been brought up on charges for sexting without consent, which is now a misdemeanor between adults, and could be charged at a higher level were a minor involved.
Defending Against Charges for Child Sexual Assault
An arrest doesn’t always result in a conviction. Other times, charges are reduced before the trial or as part of a plea deal to reflect the actual severity of one’s offenses. If you’ve been accused, you need tough representation in court to help you find the best possible outcome. Texas law explicitly provides for some defenses in cases of child sexual assault:
- The child in question is the spouse of the accused, and is older than 14
- The accused is three or fewer years older and of the opposite sex than the child, who is older than 14
- The accused did not use force or threaten the child
Of course, these defenses are only allowed in certain circumstances, but they can be the basis of a strong, complex argument against your guilt.
In other situations, fabricated charges brought on by parental disputes or angry children threaten to disrupt the lives of innocent people. Especially with a child’s testimony on their side, a prosecutor may attempt to force a confession or a plea deal. You should always talk to a lawyer before submitting to law enforcement questioning. Refusing to speak to police won’t make you look guilty; it will make you look like an informed citizen who knows and is proud to exercise their rights.
An arrest or indictment isn’t a guarantee that the prosecution has an airtight case against you. Remember, to get a guilty verdict, the state must prove their accusations beyond a reasonable doubt. Though jury bias may be stronger in child sex crime cases, an experienced lawyer can help you find the best way to respond to the charges against you.
Tough Sentences for the Convicted
Sex crimes against children come with high automatic sentences. Earlier this year, the 226th District Court awarded 8 life sentences to a man found guilty of aggravated sexual assault of a child, indecency with a child, sexual performance of a child, possession of child pornography, and violation of sex offender registration.
This type of harsh sentencing isn’t abnormal in child sex crime cases, partially because public opinion supports it. In news reports, a San Antonio man sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for the production of child pornography was referred to as “a monster” and “evil,” and the prosecutor announced his pride for the tough sentence his team brought down. Statements like these show the prejudice community members and prosecutors hold against anyone accused of child sex crimes. Though large sentences may be deserved for truly egregious acts, the public’s urgency in keeping children safe from threats may lead to false convictions.
Judges and Juries Aren’t Always Right
Just last year, four women had their records expunged after a 2016 exoneration against charges of aggravated sexual assault. The women lived with the conviction on their records for nearly 20 years, and it affected everything from job applications to travel plans. Aside from child testimony, which was later recanted, the women’s sexualities (all four are lesbians) likely biased jury members further against them. The prosecution tried to gloss over contradictions in the girls’ testimony, and a pediatrician called to the stand made claims that matched the accusations but were not supported by her medical examinations of the children involved. All four women refused to take plea deals because they knew they were innocent but were wrongfully convicted as rumors swirled about satanic rituals.
Though justice was found at long last in this case, the women served 15 years in prison and faced the stigma of having aggravated child sexual assault charges on their permanent records. This is much too long a wait for innocent citizens caught up in a false scandal.
Protecting Your Rights in Child Sexual Assault Cases
Our team at LaHood Norton Law Group brings the experience of former prosecutors to your side in criminal cases. We create strategies that account for and defend against common prosecutorial actions. No matter the accusations against you, your rights must be protected in a criminal trial, especially when charges are likely to raise a public fervor. We fiercely advocate for all our clients and fight back against unfair bias in jury trials.
Schedule a free consultation by reaching out online or calling (210) 801-9400.