Bismarck Police say a 15-year-old Bismarck girl reported an unknown man tried to proposition her to perform sexual acts after convincing her to get in his car while she walked home on the The man approached the girl, introduced himself and asked her if she wanted to “hang out.” While they were driving, the man allegedly told her that he was in the oil industry and was traveling to Minot. The man allegedly asked the girl what sexual acts she would be willing to perform for various amounts of money and showed her a large amount of cash, though she claims the man never threatened or touched her. The girl reported she asked the man to stop, and she got out several blocks from her home. The girl told her parents about the incident when she arrived at home, and her mom reported it to police.
It is unfortunate to hear or see that someone was victimized or harmed by the perpetrator of a sex crime. However, it is an even greater injustice to see an innocent individual locked behind bars for a crime they did not commit, particularly a crime that is view so heinous that it could leave one’s reputation in ruin.
Inaccurate witness identification can be a major problem, particularly for sex crimes victims. Many victims of sex crimes, whether physically harmed, solicited, or otherwise, may be shaken up after the event and may forget the face of their attacker. Shock is a normal and understandable factor after someone is the victim of a crime. However, that does not mean that a potential defendant should not be allowed to fight the accusation.
False allegations of sex crimes in Jacksonville are also commonly observed in cases where emotions run wild, such as the following:
– When a dating relationship ends, the spurned lover may accuse the other of rape or other sex crimes, in retaliation. The angry partner reports an incident to the police and calls it a sex crime, claiming force, coercion or misrepresentation was involved, even though the accused may have believed that sexual relations were consensual.
– In child custody cases, one parent may accuse the other of committing or allowing another adult to molest their child, who is the real issue at the center of the custody dispute.
– Law Enforcement may create the illusion that a sex crime has occurred, then arresting the accused, with little actual basis. For example, law enforcement many times pose as juveniles in order to arrest those who log in to Internet chat rooms and “solicit sex from a minor.” However, no sex crime against a minor has actually occurred, because no minor was actually involved.
Occasionally, the alleged victim has made false accusations against others in the community. In Jaggers v. State, (decided in 1988) the Second District Court of Appeals held that a prior false accusation of sexual abuse or assault can come in to question when the sole evidence against the accused is the alleged victim’s testimony. However, the Fourth District held in Harvey v. State, (decided in 2010), that when an alleged victim of sexual assault testifies at trial, the fact that the victim had previously falsely accused someone of sexual assault cannot be used to contradict the victim’s accusations.
Without the ability to prove or disprove the reliability of an alleged victim’s character, juries are at a loss to fulfill their primary function: fact-find. When the State’s case is based solely on an alleged victim’s accusations, the accused should be permitted to question and investigate other instances of dishonesty in similar situations.
The girl in this case described the man as being caucasian, 6 feet tall, and slender, with short brown hair. He did not have facial hair or glasses. This description matches much of the population, and without any particular markings, tattoos, or other distinguishing features, the potential accused becomes almost anyone the police decide to arrest.
One in a situation such as this should obtain an experienced Jacksonville sex crimes defense attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights, defenses, and options are known and protected. One cannot fight this battle alone. With the help of an experienced attorney, one can be sure that a charge like this will become a thing of the past.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and is here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one requires a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
Additional Sources: Bismarck girl says man propositioned her for sexJenny Michael, Bismarck Tribune