Sex crimes can be horrendous. Victims of such crimes may suffer the mental health consequences for years, if not for the rest of their lives — and that's not to mention the possible physical consequences, such as an unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection. While most claims of rape or sexual assault are legitimate, not all are. What should you do if you have been wrongfully accused of raping someone? To start with, adhere to these do's and don'ts.
Do: Immediately Contact an Attorney
Do not wait and hope that because you are innocent, the justice system will soon find that out on their own. Wrongful convictions have been made, so this is something you need to address head-on and immediately. Get in touch with a lawyer who has specific expertise in sex crimes. There are a lot of intricacies to this type of case, so you need someone who is familiar with those loopholes and potential traps. A general practitioner of law won't do the trick in a case this serious.
Don't: Conceal Truth From Your Attorney
It can be tempting to stretch the truth or hide facts to make your claim that you did not commit the crime even more convincing. But in order to help you, your lawyer needs to know the whole truth. If you were with the victim the night he or she is claiming to have been raped, tell your lawyer. If you did have sex, but with consent, share that with your attorney, too.
Do: Stay Off Social Media
In your frustration, you may want to vent on social media by posting memes, proclaiming your innocence, or trying to reach out to others who know your side of the story. But this is a very bad idea. Things you post could be taken out of context and used against you. Disable your accounts until your case is over.
Don't: Communicate With the Plaintiff Directly
You may also want to reach out to the plaintiff and say something like, "Look, I did not do this to you!" or "I'm innocent." But again, things you say can be taken out of context in ways you would not believe. Do not communicate with the plaintiff at all; let your lawyer handle all of the communications. The same goes for any media outlet that tries to get in touch with you. Tell them to contact your attorney.
Being accused of any crime you did not commit can be horrible, especially when that crime is rape. Don't take any chances; hire the best attorney available to defend you.