Authorities must take rape accusations seriously. They must hear the charges and fully punish those guilty of harming women. Still, there are instances where a person may be in a tough spot due to false rape accusations against them.
As a society, we must not dismiss credible rape allegations, but we cannot allow false accusations to go unchallenged.
False rape accusations can be damaging in more ways than one. Make sure that the truth is revealed by finding out how you can combat false charges made against you. Please feel free to continue with the article to find out more about this essential topic.
How Arizona Law Defines Rape
The state of Arizona has various laws that focus on sex crimes. They vary in terms of the specific actions committed by the suspect. Let’s discuss them in greater detail below.
The first type of sex crime is sexual assault. Per Arizona law, sexual assault occurs when a person intentionally engages in oral sexual contact or sexual intercourse with another person who did not provide consent.
Sexual Conduct with a Minor
Arizona law also accounts for sexual conduct with a minor. Sexual conduct with a minor takes place when an individual intentionally engages in oral sexual contact or sexual intercourse with another person who is under eighteen years of age.
Sexual abuse is another sex crime in Arizona. In cases of sexual abuse, the victim accuses the suspect of intentionally engaging in sexual contact. The case becomes a form of sexual abuse because the woman either did not provide consent or was under fifteen years of age at the time.
The Penalties for Committing Rape in Arizona
Crimes of a sexual nature are taken seriously in Arizona. They come with corresponding penalties that can lead to long prison sentences. Find out more about what those penalties are in this section of the article.
Penalties for Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is considered a class 2 felony in the state of Arizona. The minimum sentence for a class 2 felony in the state is four years in prison. The standard sentence is five years, while the maximum is ten years.
You should know that the length of the prison sentence for a sexual assault charge can change depending on certain circumstances. For instance, if the defendant in question is guilty of using certain chemicals prior to the assault, the minimum sentence becomes five years and four months; the standard sentence is seven years, while the maximum sentence goes up to fourteen years.
Individuals who injured their victim during the assault may receive life in prison with no possibility of parole.
Penalties for Sexual Conduct with a Minor
The age of the victim plays a significant part in determining what penalties a defendant may face after they are convicted of engaging in sexual conduct with a minor.
If the victim is 12 years old or younger, the suspect can be sentenced to life imprisonment with no possibility of parole. If the victim is twelve years old or younger, the suspect can receive life imprisonment with no possibility of parole. If the victim is above twelve years of age but not yet fifteen years old, the crime will be considered a class 2 felony, and the penalties mentioned previously will apply.
In a case where the victim is at least fifteen years of age, the crime will be considered a class 6 felony. The minimum penalty for a class 6 felony is six months in prison. The standard sentence is one year in prison and the maximum sentence is eighteen months in prison.
Penalties for Sexual Abuse
Age again plays a role in determining which penalties they impose upon those guilty of committing sexual abuse.
If the victim in the case is under fifteen years old, the crime will be a class 3 felony. Class 3 felonies come with a minimum sentence of two and a half years in prison, a standard sentence of three and a half years, and a maximum sentence of seven years.
Now, if the victim is fifteen or older, the crime will be considered a class 5 felony. Individuals charged will face a minimum sentence of nine months in prison. The standard sentence is eighteen months in prison, and the maximum sentence is two years.
The Other Penalties for Committing Sexual Crimes
Imprisonment is the main penalty that’s imposed upon those who commit the crime of rape, but that’s not the only thing.
Individuals found guilty of rape also become alienated from their friends, family members, and their community. They are treated as pariahs and saddled with a tarnished reputation they cannot shed. Finding work after you leave prison may also prove to be a nearly impossible undertaking if authorities convicted you of committing rape previously.
To be clear, individuals who are guilty of rape deserve to experience the consequences of their actions. The experience of being raped can have a life-long impact on their victim. The actions of guilty parties should not be easily forgotten.
Why Do People Make False Rape Accusations?
Now that we know more about how the state of Arizona defines rape and punishes those found guilty of the crime, let’s move to the topic of false rape accusations. To get started, let’s talk more about why people make those bogus accusations in the first place.
An Attempt to Gain an Advantage during Divorce Proceedings
It’s no secret that some marriages end badly. Even if the two sides have already agreed that divorce is necessary, that doesn’t mean the process itself will be orderly. If anything, tensions may rise during the divorce proceedings, and the entire ordeal may become more acrimonious.
To gain an edge during the increasingly more contentious divorce proceedings, one of the parties may allege that they were raped. Such a claim can completely shake up the proceedings and alter how it will ultimately go. Even if things were looking favorable for you at one point, that can flip quickly if your former spouse accuses you of rape.
With the false rape accusations now out there, your former spouse may gain more leverage. Your former partner may receive full custody of your children, and you may need to pay a substantial amount of spousal support while you deal with the fallout of the bogus allegations.
An Attempt to Extort Money
Money can motivate some people to do some underhanded things. In desperate times, people may even resort to extortion to keep their heads above water.
If you’re a successful entrepreneur in your community, you could end up being a target of an extortion attempt. An employee of yours may falsely accuse you of rape to squeeze money out of you.
An Attempt to Save Face
Picture this scenario: You entered a romantic relationship with another person, not knowing that the person in question was married. After some time, you discovered your partner’s cheating ways. Suddenly, your partner is now accusing you of rape to save their reputation and potentially salvage their marriage.
That would be a tough spot for you to be in, and it’s sadly not an impossible scenario. Getting divorced could be damaging to someone financially, and they may want to preserve their marriage any way they can, even if that means ruining an innocent person’s life in the process.
A Desire to Exact Revenge
You don’t need to be in the middle of divorce proceedings to receive a false rape charge. A jilted lover who is not happy with the end of a relationship may seek retaliation by lobbing false accusations against you.
Imagining such a scenario is difficult for many, but it can happen. The aftermath of a breakup can sometimes be difficult for individuals to deal with. Because of that, they resort to doing anything they can to hurt the person they once loved.
How to Disprove False Rape Accusations
Dealing with false rape accusations can be the most stressful experience of your life. However, you cannot afford to roll over. You must fight for your innocence and your reputation.
For this part of the article, we’ll focus on the things you must do to disprove the false rape allegations against you.
Hire a Lawyer Immediately
Before you do anything else in your attempt to disprove the false rape allegations that have come your way, you must first hire a lawyer. Understand that people will scrutinize all your actions after someone accuses you of raping them. You cannot afford to make a misstep that will make you look guilty.
Hire a lawyer right away and begin consulting with them. Talk to your lawyer before making any move to ensure that you aren’t doing something that could jeopardize your freedom.
Gather as Much Evidence as You Can
Following a sexual encounter with another person, that individual in question may attempt to take advantage of you by threatening to accuse you of rape. Even if it was consensual, your accuser may change their tune after the fact to get you to pay up.
One of the best things you can do in that scenario is to collect as much evidence as you can. Keep any messages – texts, emails, messages sent via apps – sent to you by your accuser, and don’t delete them. Preserve them to show that what happened between the two of you was consensual.
Witness testimony can also prove helpful to you. If there are people who saw the two of you together prior to what happened, they can provide context for what happened that day.
Your accuser will have a hard time coming up with physical evidence or even witness testimony to prove that you raped them if the allegations they’re making are all lies. On the other hand, you should gather a collection of evidence that you can use in court.
Minimize Contact and Communication with Your Accuser
Being on the receiving end of false rape allegations can be a destabilizing experience for anyone. While in that vulnerable state, your accuser may attempt to take advantage of you. They may try to get you to say or do things that could make you appear hostile towards them.
Obviously, it would be understandable if you are angry at the person making false accusations against you, but you cannot fall for their trap. One of the worst things you can do at that point is to give in to them and provide them with ammunition they can use against you during the trial.
The best thing you can do once you’ve decided to fight the false rape accusations is to cut off all contact with your accuser.
If cutting off contact is impossible because they’re your former spouse and the two of you are in the middle of divorce proceedings, look to minimize your interactions instead. In a situation such as that, ensure that all your communications are in writing, and feel free to bring other people along to bear witness to your interactions.
Stand Firm and Let the Facts Speak for Themselves
False rape accusations tend to fall apart under the slightest bit of scrutiny because they hold no substance whatsoever. At the end of the day, your accuser will still need to prove that you did something wrong, and they will have a hard time pulling that off with no evidence to work with.
Listen to your lawyer and remain firm at this time. Don’t forget that the facts of the case are on your side. As long as the facts are allowed to determine the case, you have nothing to fear.
False rape accusations are no joke. Fail to take them seriously, and you could end up in prison with a reputation in tatters.
Combat false rape accusations that may come your way by partnering with us at the Schill Law Group. Contact us today, and let’s work together on your defense against those baseless accusations.