How to Beat a False Allegation of Child Abuse
When a false allegation of child abuse is raised against you, you must be willing to expend a great deal of effort, time and resources toward defeating it—you have too much at stake not to give it your top priority.
Below are 25 different ways to defeat a false allegation of child abuse and win back your reputation.Attack Your Accuser’s Credibility/Reputation
Often, the only evidence that a crime of child sexual abuse occurred is the word of an accuser. But the accuser’s word may be enough for you to lose your case.
Now is not the time to be polite. Instead, start gathering evidence that shows that your accuser should not be believed. There are various reasons why an accuser should not be believed. The most common include:
- The accuser is lying. You will want to identify and demonstrate a motive to lie.
- The accuser is mistaken about what happened.
- The accuser is mistaken about the identity of the offender.
- The accuser is suffering from false memory.
- The accuser has been coached to raise the allegation.
- The accuser has been tricked into believing something that’s not true.
- The accuser never made the accusation in the first place.
- The accuser is not the real accuser—instead it is the accuser’s parent who has manipulated the accuser. This is most often seen where a parent (usually a mother) suffers from Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, wherein she convinces her child that her child is abused in order to meet her own (i.e., the parent’s own) emotional needs.
- The accuser is a victim of group psychosis, where the mentality of one member of a group causes the other members of the group to follow suit. This tactic requires the use of an expert mental health expert.
What evidence can you use to attack your accuser’s credibility? Witness testimony, posts on social media, emails, text messages, and all manner of other types of evidence should be gathered.
One difficulty that arises is what to do when the accuser is the accused’s own child, a son or daughter. Parents usually don’t want to sling mud at their own children. In this scenario, there are respectable ways of undermining the child’s (or the other parent’s) accusation. The strategy you use will depend on the facts of your specific case.Boost Your Own Credibility/Reputation
To beat the false allegation of child abuse, you may have to testify—to state your own case. It is crucial that you be believable and that your statement be credible. Here are some examples of ways you can demonstrate your credibility:
- Obtain character witness statements.
- Tell the truth.
- Be consistent in your statements.
- Pass a lie detector test, aka, a polygraph. This should not be performed by law enforcement.
- Obtain statements from witnesses that corroborate your own (such as an alibi).
- Pass a psychological evaluation. This requires hiring an expert witness, such as a psychiatrist.
We will focus a great deal of attention on the evidence gathered against you by child protective services (CPS), law enforcement, and any other state licensing agencies during their investigation of the false allegation of child abuse. Here are some specific things we consider to undermine the government’s case:
- Inconsistencies and contradictions made by witnesses. Look for inconsistencies among multiple witnesses and also inconsistencies within a single witness’s statement.
- Inconsistencies and contradictions made by the author of a report, such as the investigating social worker or a police officer. Do they make conclusions that are consistent with the evidence? Is their logic sound?
- Gaps/holes in the investigation. Particularly, look for 3 things: a) Questions the investigator should have asked a witness, but failed to ask; b) Witnesses the investigator should have interviewed, but failed to interview; c) Evidence (such as photographs, video, documents, for example) the investigator should have obtained, but failed to obtain.
- Evidence that undermines (attacks, weakens, disproves, etc.) the government’s case and the allegations against you. I understand this looks awfully similar to #3 above, but I suppose with #3 above we don’t necessarily know whether the evidence or statements the investigator failed to obtain would have been helpful or hurtful to your case. For #4, however, we’re focusing specifically on evidence we know would be helpful to your case. Also look to see whether the investigator made any effort whatsoever to acquire this evidence or witness statement. Evidence that the investigator only made efforts to look for evidence against you & made no effort to look for evidence in your favor may show bias or prejudice on the part of the investigator…or at least that the investigator went into the investigation with a preconceived notion about what the result of the investigation was supposed to be (i.e., against you). Which leads me to #5.
- Bias (in favor of something/someone) or prejudice (against something/someone) on the part of the investigator or a witness. Also look for motive to lie or motive to not do due diligence.
- Alternate, reasonable theories of the case. One example of this might be an alternative explanation of what caused a child’s injury–something other than abuse, such as a sports injury, a fight with a sibling, etc.
- Confirmation bias. Confirmation bias involves a tendency to interpret evidence as confirmation of one’s already-existing beliefs or theories. All types of investigators are subject to fall victim to their own already-existing theories, including police officers, social workers, licensing investigators, and forensic interviewers. One way to catch this is to see if the government is coming to conclusions without taking any steps to verify or confirm the conclusion.
- Other evidence and witness statements that will help you respond to the allegations. This is similar to #4 above, but now we’re talking about creating a plan of action–specific steps you will take and specific people you will talk to and specific documents you will obtain–to follow to prepare your defense. This is what you will be working on for the next while until you send your evidence to the government.
- Chronology/timeline of events that you should write out. A written timeline can help you: a) more fully understand the story of what happened, b) tell the story better (which we may end up doing in your hearing), c) look at your case in a different way, that may cause you to realize there’s an issue you can exploit that you didn’t see previously, and d) remember important parts of the story that you had previously forgotten or not realized were relevant.
- CSAAS: This stands for Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome. Many government agencies (especially prosecutors) like to employ experts to testify about this syndrome. I have found it very handy to have an expert witness on my team to testify on this topic as well. It is often a key component of a child molest defense case.
When I defend a client against false accusations of child abuse, a substantial amount of time is spent on these steps and activities. In addition, hiring a very good private investigator may also be crucial to winning your case. A good P.I. can do much of the leg work needed to accomplish our objectives.
If you’ve been falsely accused of child abuse, contact me immediately to begin defending yourself or call 619-792-1451.