Child Molestation Charges: What To Do

If you or a loved one is arrested for child molestation in Georgia, it is important that you act immediately to protect yourself. Do not wait until your court date to get an attorney and to preserve evidence.

Do not think that just because you are innocent that the charges will be dismissed. Child molestation charges are aggressively prosecuted in Georgia and prosecutors and the police believe children who make the accusations.

Make sure your attorney has had jury trials in child molestation cases and has won these cases. Do not let an attorney handle your case who does not specifically handle these cases.

The law may say you are presumed innocent but in child molestation cases, you have to prove your innocence.

The Steps

Here is what you should do if arrested for child molestation:

  1. Hire an attorney – Make sure that attorney actually handles and tries child molestation cases. Most criminal defense attorneys do not handle child molestation cases. Make sure the attorney you talk to does regularly handles child molestation cases in Georgia.
  2. Avoid making any statements – Do not walk into the police department and profess your innocence. The police will not believe you. Do not think you can show up at your first court date and tell the prosecutor and judge that you are innocent and expect the charges to be dropped. If you are arrested for child molestation, you have to start preparing for your jury trial. Do not make any statements to anyone except your lawyer.
  3. Start gathering important evidence
    • Gather and preserve any physical evidence in your possession that might relate to the child making the accusation. This includes clothing, photos, video or any other tangible object.
    • Gather and preserve any documents that might relate to this accusation including emails, texts, social media, phone records, GPS records, computer records or any other document that might show where you were when this incident allegedly occurred.
    • Witnesses – Immediately make a list of any person who you think might have information about this child molestation accusation. Do not discuss the case with this person but pass this list of potential witnesses to your attorney and let your attorney contact them.

What NOT To Do when Charged with Child Molestation

Here is what you should never do if arrested for child molestation:

  1. Never talk to the alleged victim or the family.
  2. Never have any contact with the alleged victim through a 3rd party or through social media.
  3. Never talk to law enforcement without an attorney present.
  4. Never talk to a child welfare agency or any other governmental agency without an attorney present.

Call us TODAY

If you are arrested for child molestation or any sex offense in Georgia, please call our office 24/7 at 404-581-0999 or send us an email at mike@peachstatelawyer.com. We will sit down with you and fully discuss your case and what to expect in court. There is no charge for the initial consultation. You will only retain us if you feel we are the best law firm to represent you. It is your case and your life so you need to hire the lawyer that you feel gives you the best chance to win.

Prior False Allegations & Your Case

You are accused with child molestation or rape and your accuser has previously falsely accused another person of these horrific crimes. Can you bring up these prior false accusations in your case? The answer is yes.

State v. Burns Example

The Georgia Supreme Court held in State v. Burns, that a defendant in a sexual-offense prosecution may bring up evidence that the alleged victim has previously made false accusations of sexual misconduct. This evidence is admissible to attack the credibility of the victim and show that the current charges did not occur.

In this case, James Burns was charged with aggravated sexual battery, aggravated sodomy, and incest. It was discovered that the alleged victim had made up a prior rape allegation.

The Rape Shield Statute & Allegations

The Rape Shield Statute of Georgia does not prohibit testimony of previous false allegations by a victim. This is because prior false accusations establish that the victim has a propensity to make false statements regarding sexual misconduct. The Rape Shield Statute in Georgia is designed to prohibit bringing up the victim’s past sexual conduct. But it does not protect the victim in cases where a false allegation was made.

Your Rights for a Defense

A criminal defendant has a Sixth Amendment right to make a full defense. A defendant has the right to bring up prior false allegations where it can be shown that the allegation was indeed false. The Sixth Amendment also grants the defendant the right of confrontation. This includes the right to physically face the person who is testifying against him and the right to conduct a thorough cross-examination. A defendant is guaranteed the opportunity for effective cross-examination.

In addition, the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees a criminal defendant a meaningful opportunity to present a complete defense. The defendant does not have a right to offer any testimony that is either privileged, irrelevant or excluded under the rules of evidence. However, if the defendant has evidence of a prior false allegation of the alleged victim then it is admissible in order to protect the integrity of the trial.

In State v. Burns, the Georgia Supreme Court has made a bright line rule that prior false allegations are admissible, regardless of other rules of evidence.

Call us Today!

If you are charged with child molestation, rape or any other sexual offense in Georgia, it is imperative that you aggressively defend yourself and learn everything you can about the alleged victim. If the alleged victim in your case has ever made up an allegation against any other person, you must use this information to your advantage when confronting your accuser in court. If you are charged with any sexual offense in Georgia, please contact us at 404-581-0999 or mike@peachstatelawyer.com for a free consultation

Aggravated Child Molestation

Aggravated Child Molestation is a serious crime in the State of Georgia. In fact, it is the worst crime that one can be accused of committing. It is imperative that you retain a qualified attorney immediately if you are being accused of aggravated child molestation. Many allegations of aggravated child molestation are false. Even if you know the allegation of aggravated child molestation against you is made up, you still must take it very seriously and aggressively defend yourself.

What’s the Law?

O.C.G.A. § 16-6-4 defines aggravated child molestation as follows:

A person commits the offense of aggravated child molestation when such person commits an offense of child molestation which physically injures the child or involves an act of sodomy.

If the alleged victim was physically injured then it is not necessary for the state to prove sodomy.

It must be shown that the alleged victim was under 16 at the time of the act in order to be charged with aggravated child molestation.

Penetration or force is not a requirement of aggravated child molestation. The victim’s testimony that it was painful is sufficient to prove physical injury and no medical evidence is required to corroborate.

Sentencing

If you are convicted of aggravated child molestation, then the sentence will either be life imprisonment or a split sentence of a mandatory minimum of 25 years imprisonment and probation for life. The defendant will also have to be placed on the sex offender registry for life.

If someone is making an allegation of aggravated child molestation against you, it is imperative that you do not talk to the police, do not talk to the person who is accusing you of aggravated child molestation and call us. Time is of the essence to properly investigate the allegations.

Do not wait until the State actually returns an indictment against you before seeking an attorney. Child Molestation cases can be proven solely on the victim’s own testimony. Therefore, it is vital that you immediately retain an attorney and get to work in defending yourself of these allegations.

I would be happy to meet with you any time for a free consultation to discuss your case, your rights and your defenses to these allegations.

Call me at 404-581-0999 and let’s schedule a time to meet and discuss your case.

It is your life, your criminal record and you deserve the best representation possible.

Online Solicitation in Georgia

What is online solicitation?

Local law enforcement agencies are conducting more and more online child predator stings. Online solicitation of a child for purposes of engaging in a sexual act is a felony in Georgia. It carries a possible punishment of up to 20 years in prison and a $ 25,000 fine.

The Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit and local law enforcement agencies are conducting operations all over the State of Georgia to catch individuals who are using the internet to solicit underage children for sex.

What should you do?

If you are arrested in one of these stings, do not talk to the police without a lawyer. Do not attempt to tell your side of the story without a lawyer. If the police tell you that they will cut you a break if you speak to them about the case, please tell them that you want a lawyer before making a statement. Nothing you say to law enforcement when you are arrested is going to benefit your case. Do not make any statements such as you thought the person was an adult or that you did not intend to actually go through with the sexual act. Do not talk to law enforcement without a lawyer present.

You have an absolute right to speak to a lawyer before making any statements. If you have already made a statement to the police, then please do not make any further statements without calling a lawyer. The stakes in these cases are too high to not retain a lawyer and fight these allegations. Your freedom is literally at stake in these cases. The State of Georgia and its local law enforcement agencies are aggressively prosecuting these cases.

What qualifies as solicitation?

Online solicitation is when you intentionally or willfully utilize the internet, local bulletin board, chat room, e-mail, instant messaging service, or any other electronic device, to solicit, seduce, lure, or entice a child, another person believed by such person to be a child, any person having custody or control of a child, or another person believed by such person to have custody or control of a child to commit any illegal act, by, with, or against a child as described in O.C.G.A. 16-6-3, sodomy or aggravated sodomy; O.C.G.A. 16-6-4, child molestation or aggravated child molestation; O.C.G.A. 16-6-5, enticing a child for indecent purposes; or O.C.G.A 16-6-8 public indecency, or to engage in any conduct that by its nature is an unlawful sexual offense against a child.

So, if you are talking to someone that you believe is underage and it turns out that you are actually speaking to law enforcement, you can still be charged and convicted of online solicitation. Do not think that just because the person you were chatting with turned out to not be a child, then you have nothing to worry about. It is still against the law, even if the child turns out to be law enforcement.

Direct communication with a minor is not required for a conviction. There is no requirement that you actually perform any type of sexual act to be convicted. All that is required is that you believed that the person you were speaking to was underage and your purpose in talking to them was for a sexual act.

If you have been charged with online solicitation and exploitation, child pornography and/or human trafficking, then it is very important to hire a lawyer who handles these types of cases. Please call my office 24/7 at 404-581-0999. We will meet with you for a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case and explain the procedure that will take place in court.

 

by Mike Jacobs

Statutory Rape Crimes in Georgia

by Mike Jacobs

Statutory Rape is a serious crime in Georgia. O.C.G.A. § 16-6-3 defines Statutory Rape as engaging in sexual intercourse with any person under the age of 16 years old who is not your  spouse.

Statutory Rape requires corroboration and cannot stand solely on the unsupported testimony of the victim.

In Georgia, it is not a defense to Statutory Rape that the accused believed the victim was of the age of consent.

Many people have the idea that if they have consensual sex, then they did not break the law. That is not true.  Individuals who commit statutory rape in Georgia can face serious felony charges. In addition to a prison sentence, a person faces being put on the Sex Offender Registry and has limits on housing and job opportunities and loses their right to vote and own a firearm.

To be convicted of Statutory Rape, it is not necessary to fully penetrate the vagina or to rupture the hymen. Only slight penetration of the vulva or labia is sufficient. Proof of force is unnecessary for statutory rape.

The punishment for Statutory Rape is very serious. O.C.G.A. § 16-6-3 mandates that the sentence be from 1 to 20 years in prison. If the defendant is 21 years or older, then the mandatory sentence is 10 years up to 20 years in prison with at least one year on probation. If the victim is at least 14 years old but less than 16 years old and the person convicted is 18 years old and is no more than 4 years older than the victim, then it is a misdemeanor and a maximum of 12 months in custody.

If the defendant is over 21 and convicted of statutory rape, he or she cannot plead under the First Offender Act.

If you face charges in Georgia for Statutory Rape, it is imperative that you do not make any statements to law enforcement or to anyone else and immediately seek help from an experienced attorney handling Sex Offenses. You must protect your rights and take this matter very seriously.

I would be happy to meet with you any time for a free consultation to discuss your case, your rights and your defenses to these allegations.

Call me at 404-581-0999 and let’s schedule a time to meet and discuss your case.

It is your life, your criminal record and you deserve the best representation possible.

Sodomy Crimes in Georgia

by Mike Jacobs

Sodomy is a serious crime in Georgia. O.C.G.A. § 16-6-2 established two separate criminal offenses. O.C.G.A.  §16-6-2(a)(1) defines sodomy as the performance of or submission to a sexual act involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another. O.C.G.A. § 16-6-2(a)(2) defines aggravated sodomy  as the commission of sodomy with force and against the will of the other person involved or with a person who is less than ten years of age.

The offense of aggravated sodomy protects individuals from violent acts where the offense of sodomy punishes consensual sexual behavior.

For sodomy, all that is required is contact between the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another person. Proof of penetration is not required in a sodomy case unless is specifically listed in the indictment. Whether there was prohibited contact between the defendant and alleged victim is solely a question for a jury.

No corroboration is required in a sodomy case.

Aggravated Sodomy is different than Sodomy. In order to make out a case for Aggravated Sodomy, the State must show that the contact was made both with force and against the will or without the consent of the alleged victim. The standard of proof is the same as required for a rape case. Both the words and actions of the accused can be used to determine if the alleged victim was in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm.

O.C.G.A. § 16-6-15 prohibits the solicitation of sodomy. Solicitation of sodomy is defined as soliciting another individual to perform to a sexual act involving the sex organs of one and the mouth or anus of another and such act is to be performed in public in exchange for money or anything of value or by force or by or with an individual who is incapable of giving legal consent to sexual activity. In order to be convicted of solicitation of sodomy, the State must be present sufficient evidence of all three elements of the crime.

If you are convicted of sodomy, it is a felony punishable by not less than one nor more than twenty years in prison and is subject to the sentencing provisions of § 17-10-6.2 which requires the sexual offender to receive a split sentence including the minimum sentence of imprisonment.

Aggravated Sodomy is also a felony and is punishable by either life imprisonment or by a split sentence of imprisonment for not less than 25 years and probation for life.

Solicitation of sodomy is a misdemeanor. However if the solicitation is of someone under 18 years of age or the solicitation is for money then it is felony punishable of not less than 5 nor more than 20 years in prison.

If the victim is at least 13 years old but less than 16 years of age and the person convicted of sodomy is 18 years of age or younger and is no more than 4 years older than the victim, then the accused would be guilty of a misdemeanor and would not be subject to the sentencing provision of O.C.G.A. §17-10-6.2.

I would be happy to meet with you any time for a free consultation to discuss your case, your rights and your defenses to these allegations.

Call me at 404-581-0999 and let’s schedule a time to meet and discuss your case.

It is your life, your criminal record and you deserve the best representation possible.

Bestiality and Necrophilia Crimes in Georgia

by Mike Jacobs

 

Bestiality is a serious crime in the State of Georgia.

O.C.G.A. § 16-6-6:  A person commits the offense of bestiality when he performs or submits to any sexual act with an animal involving the sex organs of the one and the mouth, anus, penis or vagina of the other.

A person convicted of bestiality shall be punished by imprisonment not less than 1 nor more than 5 years.

Necrophilia is a serious crime in Georgia.

O.C.G.A. § 16-6-7: A person commits the offense of necrophilia when he performs any sexual act with a dead human body involving the sex organs of the one and the mouth, anus, penis or vagina of the other.

A person convicted of necrophilia is punishable by imprisonment for not less than 1 nor more than 10 years.

I would be happy to meet with you any time for a free consultation to discuss your case, your rights and your defenses to these allegations.

Call me at 404-581-0999 and let’s schedule a time to meet and discuss your case.

It is your life, your criminal record and you deserve the best representation possible.

Child Molestation in Georgia

by Mike Jacobs

Child Molestation is a serious crime in the State of Georgia. It is imperative that you retain a qualified attorney immediately if you are being accused of child molestation. Many allegations of child molestation are false. Even if you know the allegation of child molestation against you is made up, you still must take it very seriously and aggressively defend yourself.

O.C.G.A. § 16-6-4 defines child molestation as follows:

A person commits the offense of child molestation when such person: Does any immoral or indecent act to or in the presence of or with any child under the age of 16 years with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the accused OR by means of electronic device, transmits images of a person engaging in, inducing, or otherwise participating in any immoral or indecent act to a child under the age of 16 years with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the person.

Child Molestation is a specific intent crime. Whether the accused has the requisite intent when he committed the act of child molestation is up to a jury. The jury can infer the requisite intent of “arousing or satisfying sexual desires” from the commission of the act. However, proof of the accused’s actual arousal is not required. Intent can be inferred from the testimony of the victim or from the actions of the accused.

No penetration is required for child molestation. All that is required is the touching of the child’s body along with the requisite intent. It does not matter whether the child was clothed or unclothed in determining whether the act was immoral or indecent.

The indictment does not have to allege the specific details of the child molestation. It can use general language of the statute.

Child molestation can also be performed by the electronic transmission of images of a person engaging in, inducing or otherwise participating in any immoral or indecent act to a child under the age of 16 years old with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the accused. All that is required is that either the accused or the alleged victim resides in the State of Georgia.

The punishment for child molestation is a mandatory of 5 years to 20 years in prison. If it a second conviction for child molestation then it can be life in prison or a mandatory 10 years up to 30 years in prison.

If someone is making an allegation of child molestation against you, it is imperative that you do not talk to the police, do not talk to the person who is accusing you of child molestation and call us.

Time is of the essence to properly investigate the allegations.

I would be happy to meet with you any time for a free consultation to discuss your case, your rights and your defenses to these allegations.
Call me at 404-581-0999 and let’s schedule a time to meet and discuss your case.

It is your life, your criminal record and you deserve the best representation possible.

Be Ready for the Unthinkable – Child Molestation in Georgia

by Ryan Walsh

Charges of child molestation or the sexual abuse of a child are the most serious cases we face as attorneys in Georgia. They usually begin with a call from someone who says they’ve been contacted by a detective regarding allegations of improper contact with a child and need to know if they should make a statement. We urge anyone who has been contacted by a law enforcement officer to call our office immediately before making any sort of statement. It is okay to tell them I need to contact my attorney. Get the detectives name and telephone number and bring that information to our office immediately.

To understand how to defend charges of child molestation and sexual abuse, you need to understand what child molestation is. Child molestation is define in the Official Code of Georgia Section 16-6-4 and states a person commits the act of child molestation when someone commits an immoral or indecent act to or in the presence of or with any child under the age of sixteen years old with the intent to satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the person. You can also be charged with child molestation if you send a sexually explicit image to a child under 16 with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the sender.

The sentencing range for someone convicted of Child Molestation carries a minimum sentence of five years, and can be up to life imprisonment depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding the accusation.

Defending those accused of child molestation is difficult. The allegation often arises from the statement of a child to a person of authority, usually a parent or teacher. That statement then gets communicated to a law enforcement official and their investigation begins. At some point the child should be interviewed by a forensic psychologist, and that interview is often the most significant piece of evidence presented in the case. But just because there is an outcry from a child, doesn’t mean the case cannot be defended. Children can mimic their parents and older siblings and make statements that aren’t always factual for many reasons. They are prone to suggestion and sometimes coercion by family and friends.

It is important for a defense attorney to get involved early in these cases. Relationships have to be examined. Motives must be found. The Law Offices of W Scott Smith specialize in handling child molestation cases and investigations. Call us today at 404-581-0999 to discuss your case. There is no time to wait in protecting your freedom.