Out of The Mouths of Babes - Recalling Sexual Assault That Did Not Happen
Penrith District Court
Represented by solicitor and accredited specialist in criminal law.
Our client was charged with sexually assaulting his 5 year old son. His estranged wife had contacted police and accompanied her son to the station for a record of interview to take place. With much guidance of the police the child confirmed that his father had sexually assaulted him.
On the advice of Counsel we sought a renowned child psychologist to assess the interviews. The child psychologist formed a view that the allegations made where clearly suggested to the child before being adopted by him. This report was dynamite for our client.
We made a “No Bill” application to the Director of Public Prosecutions seeking that our client no longer be prosecuted and attached the report we had obtained. The Director agreed.
Charges withdrawn and dismissed.
It is not unusual for ‘alleged victims’ of sexual assault to make false accusations based upon poor or inappropriate questioning by police, parents or friends where answers are suggested to the person – particularly so for young children.
The danger for the accused rests in the way that evidence of children is presented to courts by way of recorded interview played to a jury. If the child has it in their head that something occurred, they tend to present in a matter-of-fact manner and this can be misinterpreted as a child being honest, reliable and accurate – when in fact they are potentially telling the story suggested to them by others.
The penalties for sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault and aggravated indecent assault are severe. Fortunately in this case a criminal defence lawyer was live to the issues and prevented an injustice occurring.
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