Child Sexual Abuse Investigations
False allegations of child sexual abuse can occur for many reasons. At the Meryhew Law Group we have a strong understanding of how and why a false allegations can be made and how to defend against them. In a great number of our cases involving false allegations we find that there are often clear reasons why they allegations are being made. Those include coaching by parents or other adults, particularly during divorce and custody battles, as well as false memories created by suggestions from trusted adults. We are trained to recognize these issues and how they affect the testimony of a child, and we employ nationally known experts to assist the jury in understanding these issues when these cases go to trial.What do You do if You’re Accused?
If you are facing false allegations of child sexual abuse you cannot assume that the truth will prevail, and a misstep now can cost you dearly in the criminal justice system. While some attorneys will tell you to refuse to speak to the authorities and simply wait to see what happens, at the Meryhew Law Group we have learned that there are many things you can do during the investigation of these allegations to improve your chances of exposing the false allegation. We use a variety of tactics with clients, depending on their particular case, including helping them with polygraph examinations, providing written and even verbal statements to the police, and identifying other witnesses the police might not otherwise talk with. Do not wait until you have been charged with a felony sex offense to find an experienced attorney to represent you.How Does the Investigation Process Work?
If you are being investigated for alleged child sexual abuse there is a process that you will have to endure. That process can take many months and can be extremely frustrating. Once allegations are made and reported to Child Protective Services and the Police there will be two investigations.Child Protective Service Investigation
CPS will investigate any credible report of child sexual abuse to determine whether an adult abused or neglected a child. They look at whether an allegation against an alleged perpetrator who is in the home with the children are true, and whether other adults in a supervisory position neglected the child by failing to protect them once the abuse was known. The CPS investigation typically takes 60 days, and at the end they will make a finding that the allegations of abuse or neglect are “founded” or “unfounded.” Those determinations are made based on a “preponderance of the evidence,” which means that if CPS believes that something is probably true then that will be their finding. You can appeal these determinations, and if you believe you have been falsely found to have committed abuse then you must appeal this decision to avoid some serious consequences independent of any police investigation.Police Investigation
The Police will investigate any allegation of child sexual abuse, and by statute any allegation of child sexual abuse must be referred to the Prosecuting Attorney for review. The Police investigation in Washington typically begins with a Forensic Child Interview of the alleged victim conducted by a trained Child Interview Specialist. At the Meryhew Law Group our attorneys are trained to conduct child interviews according to the protocols that are accepted as least suggestive, and to critique the interviews done by the Police.
If the Child Forensic Interview results in a disclosure of sexual abuse then the Police will typically interview other relevant witnesses and then attempt to interview the alleged perpetrator. At the Meryhew Law Group we have extensive experience working with the Police and Prosecuting Attorneys during the investigation of allegations of child sexual abuse. In cases of false allegations we are as aggressive as we can be in providing them with information and making the case that the allegations are false. We have a strong track record of convincing the authorities not to pursue charges in many investigations.Speak to a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Contact The Meryhew Law Group, A Professional Limited Liability Corporation (PLLC) in Seattle, WA, to consult with an experienced and aggressive attorney who can fight to insure your rights and liberty are protected.