In addition to the right to a trial by jury of his or her peers, the defendant has the right to bring up evidence of the victim’s previous claims that proved to be false. This may show that the accused has been the target of these claims before or that the victim wrongfully accused someone on a previous occasion. This information may help further proof behind his or her innocence in charges. Sometimes the alleged victim is acting out of spite or with a vengeful spirit to punish another person for various reasons. In some cases, the person claiming to be the victim wants money to dismiss charges. In other cases, the victim may be confused or suffer from a mental illness that causes him or her to believe things happened that did not happen in reality.
In some sex crimes cases, the person that must go through trial as a defendant is actually the victim of the case. And in some cases, the person scrutinized throughout the proceedings is the person that came forward with a sex crime as a victim. This causes those affected by these offenses to not want to reveal a crime occurred.
Cases of Revenge in Sex Crimes
When the motivation behind the alleged victim’s claim is revenge, jealousy, spite or an emotional trigger, the defendant must work hard at protecting his or her rights in relation to false accusations. In some situations, the affected person contacts the defendant with an offer to dismiss charges. However, in many of these offers, the deal requires monetary exchanges.
Revenge may cause claims of multiple crimes being committed in the same case. These may include rape, assault, battery and potentially robbery. The victim may claim consensual sex was actually a crime of rape, and the charges may increase if the use of deadly weapons and physical harm were part of the allegations. These accusations are damaging and may cause a lengthy case with possible multiple appeals if necessary. Those seeking retribution through revenge often play their part well to ensure the defending party is punished.
Rejection of Past Claims
When the judge presiding over a case rejects the introduction of evidence that reveals how past claims were false, this cripples the defense when attempting to prove the truth. In some instances, the alleged victim may have been a professional prostitute or someone that traded services for monetary exchanges. Any instances of claims of a sex crime in these circumstances are often false, as the exchange of money for services is an assumption of consent. While other crimes of assault and battery may transpire, these are not usually committed by those seeking only sexual gratification. However, if the past false claims cannot be introduced, the defense must restructure the strategy of the trial.
When the past false claims are rejected from being part of the trial, an appeal may be filed as the defendant may claim his or her right to defend himself or herself properly was removed. This may be the only step to overturn conviction of these false claims.
Due Process in Sex Crimes
The right to a complete defense is afforded to all United States citizens no matter what type of crime is alleged to have been committed or who the defending party is. The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Confrontational Clause of the Sixth Amendment in the United States Constitution allow for a complete defense with all relevant and related material being allowed introduction in the trial. This may lead to a new trial if the previous one rejected evidence of false claims by an alleged victim. Through excluding certain evidence, some rights might be violated.