Credibility Plays a Role When Prosecuting Sexual Assault Cases
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It’s not unusual for a sexual assault accusation to end up in court long after the alleged attack occurred. This can lead to a lack of evidence and give the case a “he said, she said” quality. The legal representation on both sides is left with presenting or attacking credibility to make their cases. This can be frightening for the people whose lives will undergo scrutiny, but there are parts that are not allowed to be used to undermine the case.
What Can and Can’t Be Used
Prosecutors will look at how credible the defendant and complaining person’s stories are. Both parties will have their stories scrutinized for how likely the sequence of events is, if any alibis are credible, and if the alleged victim has any reason to falsify testimony and falsely accuse the defendant.
The alleged victim’s past sexual history can’t be used to convince the jury that what happened couldn’t have been sexual assault. In other words, the defense can’t say that the alleged victim couldn’t be assaulted because he or she had had several sexual partners in the past.
There are limited circumstances in which the defense can bring this up, but the defense must prove to the court that prior sexual relationships are actually relevant to the case.
One More Problem
Overconfidence can be a real problem for those who are sure of their case. For example, someone accused of sexual assault, who has proof that he or she was not in the state at the time, may become overconfident and give sloppy answers that the prosecution could twist into a statement implying guilt. Overconfidence leading to sloppy, careless testimony can also damage the prosecution’s case.
If you have been accused of sexual assault, never assume that the case is going to be easy to win or impossible to deal with. Contact Eisenberg Law Offices and speak with an attorney. You need to build an airtight case, and you must have good legal representation to do that.