A Treasure Coast police officer is facing charges of exchanging lewd text messages and photos with a child. However, this was not the first time the officer faced such accusations. A former girlfriend reported that her child told her that he had been touched inappropriately by the officer. The incident was investigated and the allegations turned out to be “not credible” according to a report issued by the department.
The officer is facing counts of soliciting a minor and traveling to meet a minor for sexual gratification. He is currently on unpaid administrative leave. He could also face charges related to the previous encounter. Since no charges were filed in that case, double jeopardy would not apply.
Why sexual assault victims don’t come forward
You can see how easy it is for a person in authority to convince those who know him that the allegations were some personal beef between him and the former girlfriend. It’s one thing to say that the allegations could not be corroborated. It’s quite another to say that the allegations are “without merit”. When you hear those in the legal community say an allegation is “without merit” it’s largely because they’re being paid a lot of money to take a firm stance against the accuser. You would not hear, for example, police officers say that allegations are “without merit”. You would hear them say something like, “there wasn’t enough evidence,” or, “we could not substantiate the claims.” When the investigating department says that allegations are “without merit” they mean, generally, that the accuser is lying.
In the event that the investigators accuse an accuser of filing a false statement, the tables are turned against them. The accuser is now the one facing criminal charges. They become scared and walk away. That, ultimately, is the point: To scare the accuser away from the accusation.
How do we know this? Well, how often do you hear investigators, police officers, or prosecutors say that allegations made by the public are “without merit”? Generally speaking, it’s only when they’re defending one of their own. In fact, this is the same strategy that aggressive civil defense attorneys use when they firmly believe in the strength of their own arguments.
Telling a mother that her concerns that her last boyfriend raped her 6-year-old son are “without merit” tells you everything you need to know about why sexual assault victims don’t come forward. The investigation’s purpose was to discredit the accuser.
Now, fast forward two years and we have actual evidence that the individual has inappropriate contact with minors. The police who conducted the investigation will themselves be investigated to determine if collusion was part of the problem. The mother can file a civil action against the police department for preventing the abuser from being held criminally culpable. Ultimately, this is the same argument made against the Catholic Church and Boyscouts of America.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
The Skier Law Firm, P.A. represents those charged with serious crimes. Call our West Palm Beach criminal attorneys and we can begin preparing a vigorous defense to the accusations against you.