Why Would a Child Lie About Being Molested?
Have you been falsely accused of child sexual abuse, endangerment, exploitation, or neglect? If so, it is not unusual to feel overwhelmed and fearful. This is a normal and understandable reaction to these types of serious accusations. While this is a serious accusation, you should remain calm if you know it is false.
Even though cases and accusations of sexual abuse against a child are serious and come with significant penalties if convicted, you do have a path forward. The first step is to hire a criminal sexual conduct attorney to help you build a solid defense against the false allegations made against you.
Cases of child sexual abuse require immediate and aggressive action. Be sure to hire a CSC defense attorney to develop an attorney-client relationship as early in the case as possible. The fact is, kids lie, and when it comes to child molestation and other sexual abuse cases against children, false allegations are not uncommon.
It is up to you to take the proper steps forward. The first should be to find and hire a reputable attorney. Attorney Nicole Blank Becker has years of experience representing those facing all types of sexual abuse charges. Hiring Blank Law PC’s legal services will give you the best possible defense for your case and achieve the best potential outcome.
Why Would a Child Lie About Being Molested?
The fact is that children lie. They lie about little things and big things. In many cases, they lie about being sexually abused.
There is a common myth in cases of criminal sexual conduct involving children that kids won’t lie about something this serious. If you are a defendant in a case involving child sexual abuse, you (based on the law) should receive a presumption of innocence. However, jurors do not give this benefit when it comes to being accused of child molestation or other types of sexual assault involving children.
Due to the seriousness of the crime and the fact that it involves children, you need a criminal defense attorney who understands the crimes and the potential consequences you face. It is their job to create reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s case. While this is challenging, it is possible with a quality and reputable attorney.
The Impact of Outside Influence
If you are accused of sexual assault or sexual abuse of a child, it is not unusual to be angry with them. After all, child abuse charges can essentially ruin your life and hurt the people you love. While this is true, most kids are (for the most part) innocent. They do not have the brain development to understand that you will face serious consequences when they lie about sexual abuse and sexual assault and make false accusations. Some children don’t even realize that their story about sexual assault is a lie.
Regardless of how egregious the lie a child tells, jurors will not hate the child telling it. To believe that the child has told a lie and falsely accused you, the juror needs to know what circumstances led to the situation. While children lie, there is usually a reason behind it. Jurors want a reason to conclude that you are “not guilty“ of child sexual abuse. The reason they are given also needs to be something they can forgive the child for.
Children lie about things like child molestation and other types of child sexual abuse differently in each case. Some children have similar motivations to lie; however, each child’s life is different, and the circumstances in their life are what have led them to report abuse, even if it is a lie.
Some of the following factors and outside influences may lead to a child telling a lie about sexual abuse:
- Age of the child
- Influence of the adults in their lives (one parent may want revenge on another)
- Influence of other children in the child’s life
- School situation and circumstances
- Home situation and circumstances
All these factors, and others, can contribute to and result in children telling a lie.
Figuring Out Why Children Lie and Make False Accusations about Child Abuse
If you and your attorney want to understand why a child may lie about sexual abuse, you must learn as much as possible about their background. It is also necessary to learn as much as possible about what was happening in the child’s life when they first told a lie.
You (with the help of your attorney) need to figure out and track how the lie has changed and grown as time has passed. This is something that happens in most situations like this. It is also necessary to demonstrate the circumstances during your trial. This requires you to show the jury why the child made the false accusation by telling a coherent story that follows a timeline of events.
A child will lie for several reasons. For example, they may think the lie will keep them from getting in trouble. Other times a child may tell a lie to get attention from an adult in their life. Other children are influenced by their parents or another adult in their life who may be encouraging false accusations of sexual abuse to win a custody proceeding or gain an advantage in a divorce.
Sometimes, a child who is being abused may make a false accusation against you because they are extremely fearful of their actual abuser. Sometimes, children lie when they get angry. Younger children, especially, can become confused and easily influenced by adults who may have overactive imaginations.
Understanding the Investigation Process for Suspected or Accused Sexual Abuse Against a Child
If child sexual abuse is reported and you are accused, an investigation will likely be conducted. Usually, a CPS (Child Protective Services) officer will lead this investigation. When this happens, the CPS officer will likely begin the investigation by visiting your home. The investigation is often traumatizing for the child and their family because there is a lot at stake when sexual assault or sexual abuse accusations involve a child under 18. If it is found that the accusations are false, there could be severe punishments.
It is taken seriously when CPS is contacted with accusations of a child being sexually abused or other sexual misconduct involving a child, even verbal abuse. Even though this is the case, the accused is still considered innocent until proven guilty, just like with any other criminal charge. Learn the main reasons Child Protective Services can be called here.
A lot goes into investigations of child sexual assault, and filing a false report knowingly can cause harm to the child and even damage family relationships. Learn if filing a false police report is a felony here.
An investigation into sexual abuse allegations also involves interviewing the child, their parents, teachers, siblings, the family doctor, and anyone else who may have information related to the case. You (the accused party) will also be interviewed.
Usually, the child will be examined by a doctor to determine if they are injured and to ensure they receive proper treatment (if needed). If you (the accused party) live in the house with the alleged victim, you will likely be required to leave during the investigation. Once the investigation is complete, CPS will make a decision regarding the alleged sexual abuse. Learn how to find out if you are being investigated by the police here.
Potential Penalties for Cases of Child Sexual Abuse in Michigan
Being accused of sexual abuse by a child is stressful. However, if the child’s lie about sexual abuse results in a conviction, knowing the possible penalties you face is essential.
In situations when you are charged with sexual penetration with a person under 13, you will face a criminal sexual conduct 1st degree conviction. This charge (upon conviction) comes with the possibility of life in prison (see: CSC 1st degree Michigan penalty). Sexual contact with children under 13 may result in a prison sentence of 15 years and lifetime electronic monitoring.
In cases of sexual penetration with a person 13 thru 15 years of age, you may also be sentenced to fines and time in prison. Convictions of child molestation, sexual assault, or sexual abuse against a child may also require you to be listed on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry. If you want to stay safe from these consequences, especially in situations where you were falsely accused, it is necessary to have a quality and reputable attorney representing your case.
While the information here provides a good overview of your options if you are falsely accused of sexual abuse of a child, you may still have questions. Answers to some of the most common questions can be found here.
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you understand your rights and responsibilities.
Who is at risk for false allegations?
Coaches, teachers, stepparents, and other adults in a position of authority are vulnerable to cases of false sexual abuse allegations. The fact is, there are several motivating factors for a child to lie about these situations. After you have been accused of this, it may be impossible to be seen as innocent, even if you are not convicted of the crime. Sometimes, the court of public opinion is more damaging than the punishment that the court of law may levy. If you find yourself in this position, it is best to call a reputable sex crimes defense lawyer right away to take steps to begin building sexual assault defense strategies.
You cannot just assume that the truth will come to the surface. If you know, for a fact, that you are innocent of the accusations against you, you still have the right to a strong criminal sexual conduct defense. Your attorney will work with you to create reasonable doubt that the sexual assault accusations against you are not true. Make sure to give your lawyer all the relevant facts related to your case and keep them updated about any developments. You may also encourage your attorney to ask friends and family members to testify in court on your behalf.
Should you admit guilt to lesser charges?
While admitting guilt to a reduced charge may seem like it will reduce pressure from the outside, any type of sex crime conviction can have a huge and lasting impact on your life. If you face sex abuse charges because of a custody case, ensure you continue communicating with your children and keep things positive. It may be a situation where they do not even know what is going on.
If allegations come from a child that is not yours, you should remove yourself from their presence and the situation if you can. This is not always possible. You need to make sure you take steps to protect yourself by always having another adult with you when you are around children.
Even if there are no false allegations against you, this is a good thing to do. If there is another adult with you who is not related to you, then you can reduce the possibility of allegations of child sex abuse. Even in situations where sexual abuse allegations are false, make sure you take them seriously. While this is true, you should still live your life and try to stay positive. Also, make sure that you speak to a rape defense attorney right away.
Contact Blank Law, PC
Child sexual abuse allegations are taken seriously in the state of Michigan. If you find yourself in this situation, hiring a reputable attorney with experience defending individuals is recommended. Learn what to look for in a criminal defense lawyer here.
At Blank Law, PC, Attorney Nicole Blank Becker has successfully defended people in a similar situation to you and can provide you with the experienced and quality representation you need and deserve. The first step is to get in touch and schedule an initial Michigan criminal defense attorney free consultation. You can do this by calling or texting the law firm 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at (248) 515-6583. You can also email the office through our website.
Remember, you have rights. You are also innocent until proven guilty. You need to protect your rights and innocence by hiring an attorney who will help you each step of the way. Being informed is the best way to stand up against false accusations of child sexual assault. While there are no guarantees, having proper legal representation is something that will pay off and help you achieve the desired outcome for your case.