CSC Cases in Michigan: What Happens if Accuser Changes Story?
Sex crimes are the most underreported offenses in the world. About 63% of sexual assault cases are unreported to the police. Also, approximately 12% of child sexual abuse cases are reported to law enforcement authorities.
Sexual violence victims often hesitate to report such criminal incidents because they are ashamed of what people think of them. Some victims fear the perpetrators, so they refuse to tell anyone about the offense. Furthermore, others may be too traumatized to recount the details to others.
CSC Cases in Michigan
When a person makes a sexual violence complaint to law enforcement officers, the authorities may decide to file charges against the perpetrator. If they choose to file the complaint and institute a lawsuit, sexual assault charges would be brought against the offender. The burden of proof lies on the prosecutor to prove that the offender is guilty. In establishing the prosecution’s case, the accuser may be called as a witness in court to testify about the event.
The testimony of the alleged victim is often crucial in a sexual abuse case because it may be used to determine the innocence or guilt of the accused. Any accuser who is found to be unreliable or untrustworthy will not be regarded as a credible witness. Thus, where alleged victims change their stories in a sex crime case, it may affect the credibility of their testimony and the strength of the prosecution’s case in proving the accused’s guilt.
What is Criminal Sexual Conduct?
Sex offenses are punishable in all the states of the U.S. However, these sexual offenses may have different names in different jurisdictions. Michigan sex crimes are called criminal sexual conduct (CSC).
So, what does crmiinal sexual conduct mean? Criminal sexual conduct is a term that refers to a broad range of sexual crimes in Michigan. Offenses like statutory rape, child molestation, sexual harassment, producing, possessing, or distributing child pornography, nonconsensual offensive touching, and other unwanted sexual activities are considered Michigan criminal sexual conduct. It may also include cases of domestic violence of a sexual nature.
Sex offenses in Michigan are classified under four CSC degrees. Thus, every criminal sexual conduct crime in Michigan falls under one of these degrees of CSC:
● First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
● Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
● Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
● Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
First degree criminal sexual conduct covers crimes involving sexual penetration, whether oral, vaginal, or anal. Also, if the victim is a person under 13, it would be considered criminal sexual conduct 1st degree.
Criminal sexual conduct 2nd degree involves unwanted sexual contact. Therefore, when someone touches another person’s private parts for sexual gratification without the other person’s consent, it would amount to a CSC 2nd degree Michigan charge.
Criminal sexual conduct 3rd degree also covers crimes involving sexual penetration. In such criminal sexual conduct cases, the victim may be a person 13 thru 15 or be related to the sex offender. Criminal sexual conduct 4th degree covers severe misdemeanor sex crimes, particularly those involving nonconsensual sexual contact. Learn the non-consensual sex meaning here.
The penalties for Michigan criminal sexual conduct are severe. They range from lengthy prison sentences to paying hefty fines, Michigan lifetime electronic monitoring, life imprisonment, and mandatory sex offender registration with the Michigan Sex Offender Registry.
If you are charged with a sex offense in Michigan, you need to hire a criminal defense attorney (learn more about what to do if you are accused of sexual assault here).
At Blank Law, PC, we provide excellent legal services to people dealing with sex offense allegations.
Our contact form sends information about your case straight to our desk. Call or message contact us at (248) 515-6583 to schedule your free consultation with us today.
What Should You Do if You Face Sexual Abuse Charges in Michigan and the Accuser Changes the Story?
Accusers often change their stories, and sometimes the details may vary significantly. These situations frequently occur in 1st degree CSC cases when the victim is a young child accusing their guardian, teacher, or parent of sexual violence.
It is not rare for accusers to change or expand their stories over time. Some may even add and introduce new allegations that were not previously stated. Several reasons could cause accusers to change their story, such as undue influence from an older person, projecting the assault done by one person to another due to psychological barriers, or the implantation of false memories. They may also change their story because they are lying or acting out of spite or revenge.
Regardless of the reason for changing the testimony, such changes can significantly impact the case and its outcome. Therefore, you need to be prepared that your accuser, particularly if the alleged victim is a child, could change the story at trial.
If you are arrested for a sex crime, you need to write out all the details of the event leading to the crime and share them with your criminal sexual conduct attorney. Provide all the evidence available to you, such as pictures, videos, documents, or even the names of eyewitnesses that can support your story.
When the accuser changes their story too frequently or significantly, it may affect their credibility in court. As a result, your criminal defense attorney may be able to tear their case apart to help you succeed at trial.
Will the Prosecution Drop All the Sexual Assault Charges Against You if the Accuser Changes the Story?
If the person accusing you of a sex offense changes their testimony, it doesn’t mean that the prosecutor will drop the charges against you. Even if the accuser claims the earlier testimony was a lie, the prosecutor may continue the case because the accuser may have been unduly pressured or intimidated to change their story. Thus, the accuser changing their testimony will not automatically result in a case dismissal.
You must hire an excellent criminal defense attorney if you want to beat the charges against you. A good sex crimes defense lawyer can also help you get bail by examining the Michigan court rule on bail, which can be challenging if you face 1st degree CSC charges. Learn how bail bonds work here.
Attorney Nicole Blank Becker can help you secure your freedom and avoid registering with the sex offender registry. Reach out to Nicole for a free consultation today.
What Special Factors Can Make the Prosecutor Withdraw All Sexual Assault Charges Against You?
Although the accuser may change their story during a sex offense case, it does not mean that the prosecutor will withdraw the criminal charges against the accused. However, prosecutors may withdraw sex offense charges in certain circumstances. Where the accuser’s testimony falls apart and lacks credibility, the prosecutor may find it necessary to withdraw the charges as they cannot prove the accused’s guilt.
Also, the prosecutor may withdraw the criminal charges when the evidence against the accused is insufficient to establish their guilt. The prosecutor is required to prove the accused’s guilt without a reasonable doubt in a sex crimes case. Thus, where this cannot be done, the prosecutor may end up retracting the charges against the accused.
Why Should You Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer if You Are Charged With Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan?
Sex crime allegations are pretty severe and can put you at significant risk. They can adversely affect your life in many ways, even if they are untrue. Ignoring the charges, running away, or hiding until they “blow over” will not help you. If you refuse to take action, you may be tried in court, convicted, and severely punished for an offense you did not commit. So, it would help if you addressed criminal charges promptly and aggressively.
You must immediately contact a rape defense attorney if you are charged with criminal sexual conduct. The best time to get in touch with a criminal sexual conduct lawyer is immediately after you are arrested. Do not speak with the police or detectives or disclose sensitive information to your friends or family (see: what happens if I don’t talk to a detective). The attorney-client relationship confidentiality rule binds criminal defense lawyers. So, hire a lawyer you trust and direct confidential or sensitive information to them. Find out more information about what to look for in a criminal defense lawyer here.
An experienced attorney can help you during the investigation process and guide you in relating with the law enforcement authorities and complainants (see: how long can you be under investigation). Your attorney’s job is to protect your rights during the criminal justice system process. Also, a CSC defense attorney will help you build solid sexual assault defense strategies to avoid prison.
Hire Top Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer Nicole Blank Becker to Fight Criminal Sexual Conduct Charges in Michigan
Nicole Blank Becker is a top CSC defense attorney with years of experience defending people charged with sexual abuse. So, if you or a loved one is involved in a Michigan CSC case, you need to get in touch with Nicole immediately. She can advise on the best sexual assault defense strategies in your case.
Hiring an excellent defense lawyer like Nicole can increase your chances of winning the criminal sexual conduct case in court and securing your freedom.
Contact our legal team to schedule your free consultation. Also, you can check out the sidebar free emergency consultation option.