Everyone is aware of just how quickly news travels these days. The smallest events in a person’s life can be shared immediately over over the Internet through some form of social media. I am not aware of anyone who does not own a smartphone, capable of photographing and videotaping at the push of a button. Whatever you do you must be aware that someone, perhaps anyone, can capture your activity and post it through a social media application. In the past I have written about the dangers of posting one’s activities to Facebook or through texts, chats or other applications. Many criminal defense lawyers have written about this and warned of the consequences. But for some reason, too many people, particularly young people choose to ignore the warnings. Whether true or not, allegations of sexual assault travel quickly over the Internet.
It is difficult to change a person’s perception of what he sees in a videotape. It is only natural that people see a limited segment of activity and rapidly form opinions about the nature of the activity. Kids tend to post what they perceive to be “fun” stuff. They capture other people, usually their friends, doing silly or stupid things. Many of the activities captured were fueled by alcohol use or drug ingestion. This fun stuff can however be mistaken for criminal activity. Adults view certain acts as being criminal when young people see them as funny. When law enforcement is alerted to the posts they start an investigation and suddenly everything changes. The participants become afraid of getting in trouble so fingers get pointed. Before you know it, someone is a victim and someone else is now charged with a crime.
Social Media Posts Can be Misleading
Take for instance a case I was recently retained on. Several teenagers had been drinking one evening and decided to get naked and enter a hot tub. In a matter of seconds the cell phones came out and videotapes were taken. Everyone knew what was happening. No one objected. Then, one of the members of the group decided to post a photo of one of the females to the Internet. The photo showed her naked from the waist up. The lower half of her body was obscured from the camera by the water in the hot tub. Most if not all of the contacts on the sender’s cell phone received the image. The female was confronted by her parents. In a panic and out of embarrassment, the young woman claimed that she never consented to being photographed. Criminal charges were brought against some of the other participants. None of this would have happened had the incident not been preserved and published through a social media application.
Defending Sex Crime Cases
Defending these cases is not easy. The issue of consent takes on a unique meaning when alleged sexual activity involving the use of drugs and alcohol is involved. Once alcohol intoxication rises to a certain level consent no longer serves as a defense. Take for instance the case I mentioned in the preceding paragraph. That woman has now claimed that she never would have entered a hot tub naked if it weren’t for her level of intoxication. Again, this is not a true statement but something she contrived to keep peace with her parents.
Hire a Massachusetts Sexual Assault Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a sex crime in Massachusetts you need to hire a criminal defense lawyer with experience. The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman, P.C. has been defending the accused for nearly three decades. We know how to defend you. We can help. Call us at 617-263-6800 now.