Sex Crimes: He Said She Said, Polygraphs, Confessions
The mere statement of a person claiming to be a victim of a sexual assault is all that is required to charge someone with a sex crime. The single unsubstantiated statement of one person can land an innocent person in prison even if the case does not involve any other evidence, witnesses, injuries or medical proof. We call this type of case a “he said, she said” case.
CONTACT ABDO LAW if you or a family member is accused of a sex crime. False allegations of sex crimes arise are not uncommon. The police will take the word of a victim at face value and will go to great lengths to rake you over the coals without any other solid proof. Let our team of experienced Macomb County sex crime attorneys manage your case by formulating a solid defense strategy. First of all, DO NOT TALK TO THE POLICE until you have consulted with a lawyer. ABDO LAW: Metro Detroit: 586-412-5555, Toll Free: 844-Got-Abdo.Proving a Sex Crime Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
The prosecutor has the burden of proof in a criminal matter. In criminal trials, the prosecutor is required to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A jury is required to return a verdict of NOT GUILTY unless the case is proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Proving a case beyond a reasonable doubt requires reliable evidence. In a he said, she said case, the evidence may consist only of the unsubstantiated statement of the alleged victim. At trial, the alleged victim is subject to cross examination by defense counsel. In addition, the defendant is entitled to produce evidence and witnesses which may tend to discredit the testimony of the alleged victim by revealing:
- One or more motives to fabricate testimony.
- Inconsistencies in the initial police report.
- Inconsistencies in testimony at prior hearing or during trial.
- Lack of any witnesses to the incident.
- Lack of any medical proof.
- That the incident was not reported immediately.
The prosecutor knows that the alleged victim’s testimony, without more, may not be sufficient to convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecutor prefers to have substantiating evidence in order to deliver a sturdier case to the jury. Law enforcement officers will attempt to secure other evidence, especially the confession of the accused party, during a criminal investigation to strengthen the prosecutor’s case.Police will Use Every Means to Get a Confession
Police will go to great lengths to build a strong case during the criminal investigation phase. Where sex crimes are involved, getting a confession from the accused party is “the icing on the cake”.
During a criminal investigation, the police utilize aggressive techniques to gather information, statements and confessions. Rarely does someone know that they are under investigation until they are confronted by the police. The police prefer to catch a person off guard and schedule an interview as soon as possible before the person has a chance to consult with a skilled criminal defense lawyer. The primary purpose of the interview is to get a confession from the suspected party. If a confession cannot be obtained, the police will use interview as an opportunity to establish other details such as:
- Placing the suspect at the crime scene.
- Placing the suspect in close proximity to the alleged victim, perhaps in a room with the door closed.
- Determining if any sex took place, even with consent.
- Sizing up the credibility of the suspect.
- Securing any incriminating texts or messages off the suspect’s phone.
At all times, a person has the right to remain silent pursuant to the 5th Amendment of the United States Constitution. However, unless a person is in police custody, the police are not required to advise a suspect of his or her Miranda rights. Miranda rights consist of the following:
- The person in custody must, prior to interrogation, be clearly informed that he/she has the right to remain silent, and that anything the person says will be used against that person in court.
- The person must be clearly informed that he/she has the right to consult with an attorney and to have that attorney present during questioning, and that, if he/she is indigent, an attorney will be provided at no cost to represent him/her.
Getting a confession is not always easy. At the infancy stage of a sex crime investigation, or soon after it is reported, the police may have the alleged victim make a telephone call to the suspected party. The telephone call is done under the supervision of the police and is tape recorded. The alleged victim is provided with a pre-arranged script which is intended to solicit incriminating statements from the suspected party. The contact may also be accomplished by other means including text messages and emails. A search warrant for this type of evidence is not required since the call is initiated by a private party and not the police.Polygraphs: Extensively Utilized in Sex Crime Investigations
Polygraphs are instruments that monitor physiological reactions (heartbeat, respiratory, blood pressure, skin conductivity). They do not detect lies but can only detect whether potentially deceptive behavior is being displayed. The results of a polygraph are inadmissible in every Michigan court.
In many cases, a polygraph session tends to be more about interrogation and less about than the actual testing of a subject. The police will often use a polygraph appointment as an opportunity to engage a person in a discussion about the case. In their aggressive pursuit of a confession, the police will even interrupt a suspect during a polygraph examination to accuse the suspect of lying. Video link: The Truth About Polygraphs.
If you fail a polygraph, the government (police, prosecutor) will retain the results forever in their file.
Once you take a polygraph, you may be stuck with the results and lose an edge in your case. ABDO LAW attorneys are suspicious of polygraphs administered by the police and rarely recommend anything other than a private polygraph by examiners that we select. A private polygraph can be arranged by us and the results remain 100% confidential.
DO NOT TALK TO THE POLICE, DO NOT AGREE TO TAKE A POLYGRAPH & CONTACT ABDO LAW IF YOU ARE BEING INVESTIGATED FOR A SEX CRIME.
Every aspect of an interrogation is within the control the police. The police will employ psychological warfare and even lie to get a suspected party to confess to a crime. ABDO LAW has experience handling sex crimes and knows how the investigation process can lead to devastating consequences for someone accused of a sex crime.
CALL Abdo Law for a FREE CONSULTATION. Phone messages after business hours are forwarded to our attorneys. We offer same day, evening, weekend appointments and the ability to retain us over the internet. Payment plans and all credit cards accepted.
CALL: Metro Detroit: 586-412-5555 or Toll Free: 844-Got-Abdo