Sex crime allegations can seriously impact an accused individual's life. But the potential effects can be magnified when the allegations of sexual assault involve a child.
A Wicomico man is learning this now after being recently accused of sexually molesting a child. The man, age 74, allegedly committed the acts when the child was six. The man reportedly babysat the child several times while the child's mother went to work. A forensic interview has been conducted in which the child claimed that the man forced her to have oral sex with him. He denies doing so. If he is convicted, he will be considered a Tier III sex offender, which would require him to register in Maryland as a sex offender for the rest of his life. If he moves out of Maryland at that point, he would have to register as a sex offender both in Maryland and in the new state where he resides.
In the 1980s standard police interrogations of children lead to the wrongful conviction of a number of child care workers on child sexual assault charges. The use of leading questions caused the children to falsely claim they were abused. Since the 1990s, courts instead use forensic interviews in cases of alleged child sexual assault. Instead of police, this technique utilizes a a social worker who interviews the child in a non-leading manner. Police may, however, view the interview on television in a different room.
Any accusations of sexual assault are incredibly serious, especially those involving child sexual abuse. Such accusations can ruin one's reputation, even if they are not convicted. If a child is accusing an adult of sexual assault, it is important that any interviews of the child are performed properly, so that false information is not obtained and used against the accused. If such an interview is improperly conducted, then a defendant may be able to get that evidence suppressed. Those who wish to learn more about their defense options in these circumstances can discuss their case with a competent attorney of their choosing.
Source: delmarvanow.com, "Man, 74, charged with sexual abuse of then 6-year-old," Henry Culvyhouse, May 1, 2017