Accuser had history of making false allegations
A Colorado Court of Appeals recently ruled that prosecutors wrongfully withheld the accuser’s history of making false allegations in a trial that ultimately led to the conviction of a youth counselor for sexual assault. It appears that evidence was available that the accuser in question, who was 17-years old at the time, had previously also made a false accusation of sexual assault.
The appeals court was adamant that prosecutors had a duty to turn over exculpatory evidence to the other side. The accuser in question had been prosecuted in the past for making false statements.
The above circumstance is not an isolated situation. Periodically we hear of someone accused of rape or sexual assault only to find out later, after the accused spent years in prison, that the allegations were fabricated.
Criminal defense attorneys will help wrongly accused individuals fight false allegations of sexual assault. Such attorneys will attempt to do what they can to exonerate such people, and also help such wrongly accused individuals continue on with their lives.
The granting of a new trial does not mean that the above individual will be exonerated for the crime alleged. There also apparently was a confession made where the accused did admit to having sexual relations with the girl in question. There may still need to be a determination to discover whether such confession was coerced.
Legitimate charges of rape and sexual assault obviously do occur. However, we cannot afford to allow false accusations to be made resulting in individuals being wrongfully imprisoned because of this. No amount of money can compensate individuals for 20 years being lost in a penal system.
Source: Coloradoan.com, “Fort Collins youth counselor may get new trial in sex assault case,” by Trevor Hughes, Jan. 30, 2013
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