Sex Crimes Defenses In Indiana
Indiana sex crimes are quite diverse, from relatively innocent indecent exposure cases to the most savage sexual battery cases. However, the public usually views sex offenders as homogenous. In other words, landlords, employers, and everyone else usually believes that sex offenders are all the same. In contrast, very few people look at overall criminal offenders in the same way. That’s probably because most people have had a brush with the law, or someone close to them has been in trouble before.
So, an effective defense, and a good Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer who advocates for you, is very important in sex offender cases, especially if the alleged victim was a juvenile. Otherwise, an unreasonably large sex offender stigma may stay with the defendant for life. Some of the most effective defenses are outlined below. In one way or another, they all involve the high burden of proof in criminal cases, which is proof beyond any reasonable doubt.
Lack of Evidence
Indiana law states, if a single witness is believed, no additional physical evidence, or witness, is required for proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Essentially, you can be convicted on testimony evidence alone.
Police officers are, in effect, professional witnesses. They usually receive special training in this area. Additionally, experienced officers have often testified in court hundreds, or thousands, of times.
Alleged sex offender victims are different. These individuals receive no training, other than the guidance prosecutors provide. Additionally, they’ve usually never testified in court before.
Prosecutors can prepare witnesses, but they cannot program them. Programmed witnesses, especially juveniles, often use age-inappropriate language. Additionally, coached witnesses often repeat the same story over and over. Even minor details are exactly the same. That’s why attorneys often cover the same territory over and over during cross-examinations.
The defense of consent requires the victim be lawfully able to consent. This defense doesn’t come into play if the victim is a juvenile or, the victim was intoxicated.
If the defense applies, it is considered an “affirmative defense.” This means the Defendant is not contesting the sex act occurred but that it was consensual. Consent to prior sexual acts is not relevant.
This defense most often comes up in online sex crimes. An officer poses as a juvenile, frequently in a chat room. The offenses usually involve production of child pornography (asking the “child” for a nude photo) or planning to commit an in-person sex crime, which requires an overt act.
The entrapment defense holds up in court if the officer induced the defendant to commit the crime, and the defendant had no predisposition to commit it. The “no predisposition” element is usually the hardest one to prove. For example, if the defendant was in a sex chat room, even if the officer reached out to the defendant, the defendant had some predisposition to commit a sex crime.
Reach Out to a Hard-Hitting Marion County Attorney
Criminal suspects have important rights when their cases go to court. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Indianapolis, contact Rigney Law LLC. After hours, home, and jail visits are available.