Juvenile criminal sexual conduct charges can change the course of a child’s life forever, which is why navigating it carefully and correctly is crucial. One small mistake or a single detail missed can significantly alter not just the case, but the child’s future.
Here’s a story of a juvenile criminal sexual conduct case in Minnesota that was done carefully and therefore was dismissed.
Minnesota Juvenile Criminal Sexual Conduct Case
Two kids were hanging out with a group of friends and later on, ran off together in a private little area. One of the kids proposed to the other to perform a sexual act in the form of oral sex, which the other kid agreed to. After a short encounter, they then rejoined their group of friends.
Weeks later, one of the kids accused the other of forcing him into the sexual act. His parents began to pursue legal action, involving law enforcement and child protective services. The child was interviewed, and he reported that he was forced into it by the other kid. The latter was called for an interview and she came in with her parents but without legal counsel.
She told the police officer that it was the other kid’s idea, which the officer believed. Upon filing the report, however, the prosecutors made a decision to charge the female child with a criminal sexual conduct case in juvenile court.
Her family finally hires a lawyer, who requests the prosecutor for all the pieces of evidence so they can conduct their own investigation. The defense attorney conducted a new investigation and interviewed the witnesses with their parents. The accused, who is the main witness in the case, admitted at the end of the interview that the accuser admitted to her that he lied when he said that he was forced into the sexual act.
That confession changed everything. The lawyer went to the prosecutor, delivered the signed statement, and recommended that the case be dropped or to request law enforcement to conduct a re-interview.
It took months for the prosecutor to follow up on this and the accused needed to leave school due to a no-contact order from the court — despite them knowing that the charge was a false allegation. Luckily, a couple of months later, the prosecutor sent over a notice of dismissal of the entire case.
The Moral of the Story
The resulting dismissal of the case was brought about by the new information that was revealed during discovery. Without the intervention of the defense lawyer, the accuser’s lie, which was the basis of the entire case, would never have been brought to light and the case would never have been dropped.
Having a lawyer makes a huge difference not only in the outcome of the case but in the accused’s future. Without the work of the defense lawyer, the child would have been branded a sexual predator for life, have trouble getting into college and finding a career, be harassed in her neighborhood and by her friends, make lifetime disclosures to social services, and more — all because of a false allegation.
Having a lawyer, and hiring the right kind of lawyer, is a big deal in cases like these. And although they can’t promise a perfect outcome, there’s the guarantee that they will do whatever they can for the accused and for the favorable resolution of their case.