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.