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Defending yourself against sexual assault: The options

If you're accused of sexually assaulting someone, you may not be sure how you can defend your position. Maybe you were on a date and thought what happened was consensual, just to find out later that the other person is alleging assault. Or, maybe you weren't involved with the person making a claim at all, and the claim is just being made to ruin your good name. Whatever the reason is for your charges, you can defend yourself with one of a few different defense strategies.

The first kind of defense is innocence. If you're claiming you're innocent, you'll need to show why you couldn't have committed the crime. Were you home when it happened? Did you ever meet the person claiming you committed the crime? What kind of alibi do you have? If you can prove you weren't with the person making the claim or that the assault didn't take place, then you have a good chance of winning your case.

Another kind of defense you may want to use is consent. Can you show that the other party was consenting at the time of the alleged assault? Do you have witnesses that can state that the person wanted to have sexual relations with you or who may have even see what happened? You may be able to use a person's past to show why they were more likely to consent than not, but you have to be careful, because that could make you look bad to a jury and put your defense in jeopardy.

Your attorney can help you decide on the best kind of defense. With the facts, you can build a case that shows why you're innocent, so you can quickly get back to your life.

Source: FindLaw, "Sexual Assault Defenses," accessed Sep. 17, 2015

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