Unfortunately, false allegations of sexual abuse have become rampant. Studies indicate that a significant percent of allegations that arise during custody proceedings are unsubstantiated. Despite the statistics, DCS, the police, and the courts exercise extreme caution and often receive training that they should always begin their ‘investigation’ by first believing the accuser.
A parent may file child sexual abuse charges against another parent for reasons of revenge, anger, jealousy, or to manipulate court proceedings. A relative or parent may coax a child into making false allegations in an effort to gain custody of a child. Sometimes a person may have simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time and was therefore falsely accused of an impropriety when nothing actually took place.
Allegations arise not only from parents and family members, but sometimes as the result of bad therapy. Our attorneys have been involved in a number of complex sexual abuse allegation cases in which the victim’s false memory was inadvertently planted during therapy. This phenomenon of “implanted false memory” has been the subject of numerous professional articles and publications.
Sexual abuse allegations is an area of law that everyone, attorneys included, are uncomfortable discussing. Notwithstanding, parents need representation because these cases tend to take on lives of their own. Being accused of inappropriate sexual contact with a child may affect your employability, reputation, custody of your children, and ultimately your freedom if you are convicted of a criminal offense. Sexual offenses and child abuse are very serious crimes under Arizona law. Some offenses are designated Dangerous Crimes Against Children (DCAC). If convicted of one of these crimes, you will face significant mandatory prison time.