Articles Posted in Sex Crimes


Open and Gross Lewdness

Open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior in Massachusetts is a crime under G.L. c. 272 Section 16. To convict someone of this crime the prosecuting attorney must prove the element of shock or alarm. This requirement was recently clarified by the Supreme Judicial Court in the Commonwealth v. Maguire, SJC-12013.  The case held that there is both a subjective and objective component of this element that must be proved before a conviction can stand. This post examines that case and the Commonwealth’s burden in open and gross cases. Continue Reading


Allegations of Sexual Assault

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. Continue Reading


Attorneys Defend Rape Allegations in Massachusetts

One of the most heinous accusations you can face in the Massachusetts criminal courts is an allegation of rape. Virtually everyone who reads about or hears about a rape complaint initially believes that the accusation is true and that the accused is dangerous. Few are immune from this sentiment. Most judges, hearing about a particular allegation for the first time, are inclined to set a high bail. In addition, it is common for such order of bail, if posted, to be accompanied by a curfew, or home confinement and almost always the installation of a GPS device. So, for the defendant, perhaps in these cases more than any other, an uphill battle begins day one. This post discusses a few of the ways in which attorneys defend rape allegations in Massachusetts. Continue Reading

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DNA Evidence

By now everybody has heard stories about how DNA evidence linked someone to a crime or, alternatively helped someone win a criminal trial. Not everyone however is aware that it is never too late to use DNA evidence to prove your innocence and right a wrong. Just today, a case decided by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court awarded a man who was convicted in 2003 of rape a new trial. This post discusses that case, Commonwealth v. Cameron, SJC-11835, and how DNA evidence is giving the accused another shot at freedom. Continue Reading

Sexual assault allegations are common on college campuses throughout the country. Usually a male student is accused of committing some sort of illegal act on a female student. As a matter of fact, in nearly thirty years of practice I have never had a woman charged with rape on a college campus. In most campus rape cases the reporting of the crime is delayed. Rarely do the campus or local police receive a complaint and make an immediate arrest. Instead, some sort of investigation begins. This is where college students accused of rape make their biggest mistake. They talk to the police and inadvertently confess to the crime. This post talks about some steps you can take to protect yourself if you are being investigated for a sex offense at your school.1338267538T9pvfs Continue Reading


False Rape Allegations

Several weeks ago I received a call from a potential new client. He had been contacted by a police officer and was told that he was being investigated for a sexual assault. The young man asked the officer what he was talking about. The officer described the complaint to the man. He told him that a couple of years ago the two had been at a party. Mostly young people attended the party, ages nineteen to twenty-three. The “victim”, a twenty year old claimed that the two started kissing and engaging in gentle sexual caressing. The man then supposedly put his hand down her pants and inserted his finger in her vagina. This constitutes rape in Massachusetts. The girl’s story is not true. The accusation inspired me to write about defending false rape allegations. Continue Reading


The Police Want To Talk To Me…What Should I Do?

Several times each month I get a similar call from a perspective client telling me that “the police want to talk to me…what should I do?”. My advice never waivers. I have always been consistent in my belief that nothing good comes from talking to the police. Again today I received one of these calls. This call made me think about a certain patterns of conduct that police engage in and my assessment of their reasons for doing so. Here are my thoughts on that subject. Continue Reading


Defending Date Rape Allegations in Massachusetts

When someone is charged with rape in Massachusetts the indictment reads that the defendant “did unlawfully have sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse, with the named victim and compelled said person by force and against her will, or compelled said person to submit by threat of bodily harm”. Those words are read to the jury just before opening statements. The jury has already been impaneled and sworn. The defendant stands alone while the clerk reads those words. Nothing in those words qualifies or describes the act in any way. You are charged with rape. So, defending date rape allegations in Massachusetts is serious. These allegations are incredibly terrifying for the accused. Continue Reading


Will The Jury Believe Me Or The Police?

Deciding whether to go to trial or resolve a criminal case in Massachusetts without going to trial is a big decision. Some people cannot handle the pressure of having a case pending. These people want to get the case over with regardless of the strengths and weaknesses of the allegations. Others prefer to procrastinate and believe that at least when a case is pending there is no bad news. At some point however a decision has to be made; go to trial or plead out. One of the greatest concerns people have when making that decision is the weight that will be given to a police officer’s testimony. I am routinely asked “will the jury believe me or the police?”. Some of the factors addressing this question are discussed in this article. Continue Reading


Defend a Rape Case With The Help of Social Media

On many occasions in the past I have posted articles about how social media has helped the prosecution prove crimes. Those articles warn against the stupidity of going public with certain activities that might add to the government’s evidence. Even in instances where social media posts are innocuous district attorneys often try to link the content to the person’s involvement in the crime. However, there are instances where you might be able to defend a rape case with the help of social media. Continue Reading