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Sexual assault: How social media can help

There are several defenses for sexual assault, and social media can be a friend to you when it comes to proving your innocence. Here's an example: If you take a girl or boyfriend out to dinner and have a message afterward that says, "thank you for dinner," you can prove that you both went to dinner. Likewise, if your significant other or date says something about you sleeping together or having a sexual relationship, that information can be introduced in court.

There are times when you could be innocent of a crime but a person wants to try to file a false claim against you. For instance, if you break up with a partner following a sexual act, he or she could claim that you assaulted him or her for revenge. While that's not fair, it's certainly possible, but you can use social media to your advantage. It's a rare day when someone makes up a serious claim without saying something to counter that claim.

A girl claiming abuse might have a comment about how a boyfriend will "pay" for breaking up with her, or a guy might have sent a message saying how nice a night was, only to threaten to file a charge if a girl doesn't comply with his requests. There may also be messages indicating that the couple was having a sexual relationship, which can show the court the kind of relationship they had, whether or not it was good and if anyone said anything after the alleged assault.

Social media isn't the only helpful tool. You can use messages on your phone or even voice mails to show that you are innocent. Your attorney can introduce this helpful evidence once you provide it to him or her.

Source: FindLaw, "Sexual Assault Defenses," accessed Dec. 13, 2016

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