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.
Never Talk to the Police Or School Officials
Most college kids think that they can talk their way out of any situation. Trust me when I tell you that you can’t. A detective will start asking you questions that you think you can handle. Were you with so and so last night? Where were you? What were you doing? Was she drinking? Was she drunk? Did you have sex? Did you “only” have digital penetration or just have oral sex? These questions appear simple, right? Guess again. Putting yourself with the “victim” lends credibility to her story. Or, denying that you were with her when in fact you were can be very problematic. Lying about your whereabouts can be considered “consciousness of guilt” and a jury can be instructed accordingly. Lying can also subject you to an obstruction of justice indictment. Conversely, saying nothing cannot be used against you.
Your Statement to the Police Could be Considered a Confession
Most college students are unaware of the nuances of Massachusetts rape laws. Inserting your finger into a woman’s vagina or anus without her consent is rape. Nonconsensual oral sex is rape. I have represented several people who had no idea that what they actually did is considered rape. By admitting that they “fingered” someone or had oral sex they were actually confessing to an act that if found to have been committed without consent is rape. Saying nothing is your best bet. Feeling the pressure to respond to questions is natural. Cops know that and they will prey on your fears. Just remember that you are not obligated to talk to them…so don’t.
Why You Should Immediately Hire a Lawyer
Once you learn that you are being investigated for a sexual assault hire a lawyer. An experience criminal defense lawyer will reach out to the investigators right away and tell them that an attorney now represents you. This prevents the police from talking to you at all. If the cops ignore the lawyer’s admonition their case might be jeopardized. We have had some very serious cases dismissed on police misconduct grounds. If you promptly hire a lawyer and don’t talk to the cops the entire prosecution might be based solely on the word of the complainant. A majority of the time that alone will not carry the day for the district attorney.
The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman, PC has been defending rape cases in Massachusetts for twenty-eight years. No one can match our record of success. Call us at 617-263-6800 or send us an email now. We can help you.