When a person is accused of a criminal offense, it does not necessarily mean they are guilty. Quite the opposite; many people get acquitted after proving there are no grounds for the accusation. With crimes of sexual nature, a lot depends on the credibility of the alleged victims.
As we always point out, it is of utmost importance to choose a good lawyer to ensure the best possible defense.
How can a person be defended against sexual assault accusations?
First of all, the facts that the accuser presents may not be valid.
If something that the potential victim said turns out to be untrue, it becomes questionable whether anything he or she says is true. Therefore, all facts presented by the prosecutor have to be verified.
The second thing that should also be taken into consideration in sexual assault cases is the legal age of consent for sexual intercourse. In Canada it is generally 16 years, except in cases when the accused had some authority over the victim. In those cases the age of consent is 18. There are other exceptions and situations when lower age of consent is tolerated. For example, young people with only a few years difference in age (let’s say, 15 and 18) can engage in sexual act without the older person being prosecuted.
It can also happen that the accused wasn’t aware of the victim’s age, or that they truly believed that the other side was older. If it can be proven that the accused was not willfully blind and was really unaware of the victim’s age, the judge may acquit the accused person.
Additionally, the outcome of every sexual assault accusation depends on the specific circumstances of that particular case. That is why it is important to get a lawyer who has experience in these matters.