Can a woman be charged with a Sex Crime?
Women are being convicted of sex crimes in record numbers. Young twenty-something high school teachers are being arrested and jailed for sexual misconduct after a hormone-driven student initiates a relationship. Even just explicit text messages can get you in trouble. More and more mothers are being arrested and prosecuted for permitting sexual abuse. Mothers, grandmothers, step-mothers and aunts are being charged with child neglect for failing to properly supervise the men and children in their homes. But since 2016, the law doesn’t even require you to have a relationship with the child you are accused of having sexually abused or neglected. Many of these charges result in felony convictions, prison time and even a requirement to register as a sex offender.
Could Law Enforcement or DHS consider me a suspect on a Sex Crime?
If you are charged with enabling or permitting someone to sexually abuse a child then you are looking at up to life in prison. We aren’t talking about the situations where you are actively helping someone get away with sexual abuse. You can be charged in a situation where the DA claims you knew or you should have known that a child was being sexually abused and face up to life in prison. If someone in your home is being investigated for sexually abusing a child, the police or DHS could also be looking at you. They don’t have to tell you that you are a suspect. The police might not even consider you a suspect, but after you talk to law enforcement or DHS the DA might decide they have enough to charge you with permitting the sexual abuse.
A growing number of women are being charged with child neglect under similar circumstances. The DA thinks it is easier to prove you neglected a child in your home than it is to prove you allowed the child to be molested. But when they charge you with child neglect, you are still facing up to life in prison. As if that wasn’t bad enough, what’s even worse about these charges is that if you end up going to prison you have to serve 85% of the sentence they give you before you are even eligible for parole.
What should I do if DHS or law enforcement contact me as a witness?
Even if you think you are being interviewed as a witness, consider contacting an experienced sex crimes attorney prior to speaking with police or DHS. You may be afraid that DHS will take your children if you don’t cooperate with them, but there are times when you can make that likelihood greater just by speaking to them. No one wants their children to be taken into DHS custody or put in a foster home even for one night. But you must consider the long-term consequences of your initial decisions. An experienced attorney can offer advice about the best course of action to help protect you from the potential for criminal prosecution. The attorneys at Berlin Law Firm have significant experience in successfully defending against felony sex crimes.