We’ve heard a lot about the sexual assault and rape allegations being made against Bill Cosby. But if you have been accused or arrested in Greenwich or Stamford Connecticut for sexual assault or rape, then you don’t have to be a famous TV star to appreciate just how the accusations alone can change your life forever. Especially in this internet age where arrests and allegations take on a digital life of their own.
So while our laws and constitutional rights give anyone arrested for rape in Stamford the presumption of innocence, the reality we all know is that the arrest alone, coupled with the media aftermath, can convict you in the court of public opinion well before you get the chance to walk into a courtroom.
So can anything be done to protect your reputation and get in front of a Stamford, Darien or Greenwich sexual assault / rape arrest? Absolutely…
As any of the best Stamford Connecticut sex assault and statutory rape criminal lawyers will tell you, a Connecticut sex assault case unfolds as follows. First, a rape or sexual assault complaint is made to the police by an alleged victim, or their parents, friends, family members, teachers, doctors, or in the case of minor children, an investigator from the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (“DCF”). Unless the allegations are completely preposterous and unbelievable, Stamford and Greenwich Special Victim Unit (“SVU”), detectives are required to thoroughly investigate the complaint. They will interview the complainant, conduct a forensic physical medical examination of her or him, and conduct a recorded video interview (called an “MIT” interview). Then in most cases, they will interview any alleged witnesses to the assault, including the person suspected of committing the sex assault or rape in Stamford, Darien or Greenwich. Detectives will usually not give you notice of their desire to interview you—as it is obviously to their advantage if you are caught off guard and unprepared for a police interrogation. They will advise you of your constitutional rights to speak with an attorney; however, many people do not appreciate how precious this right is and just want the police to get ouf of their life so they foolishly think submitting to a quick police interview will make everything go away, especially when the police assure them they wlll not be arrested that day.
(Note this is a frequently applied interview tactic of police—during their fact-gathering stage of any investigation, they assure a suspect that they will not be taken away in handcuffs or arrested that day. But here’s the rest of the story….sex assault detectives usually do not explain that if the information provided to them by the suspect gives them probable cause for a sexual assault rape arrest in Stamford, New Canaan or Darien, then they will incorporate the information gleaned from the interview into an arrest warrant application and may instead come back days or weeks later with a warrant for the suspect’s arrest!)
If, after the conclusion of the investigation, you are arrested in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien or Wilton for sexual assault or statutory rape, then a bond will be set and you will be arraigned in Stamford or Norwalk Superior Court. They police will typically and immediately issue a press release to local TV stations, newspapers and online news outlets announcing your arrest, mug shot, and even worse, specific details of the rape allegations being made against you, which will be made publicly available in an arrest warrant. Of course only your name will be released, not the name of the victim of the sex assault who gets the benefit of anonymity, even if the victim has lied and wrongfully accused you of rape in Stamford, Greenwich or Darien.
A media and internet press cycle for a Connecticut sex assault arrest moves quickly. There is a small window of opportunity to present your side of the story in the media. Many of the old-school criminal lawyers did not like to make public statements to the media in high profile cases like a rape case where it sometimes pays off to be sensitive, discreet and offer the signature “no comment.” However, this philosophy pre-dated the digital era where a rape arrest was published in a print newspaper, was viewed on one day, and could not be accessed easily again unless you visited a library archive. This old school philosophy was turned upside down by the internet. Now a Google search of your name calls up a Connecticut rape arrest in Stamford, New Canaan, Westport, or Wilton in a split second. As a result, your top Connecticut attorney needs to advocate your innocence on the internet as well. Otherwise, all the press has to print are the lies of the one-sided story provided by the police in their press release. It is therefore critical in many cases to get in front of a press cycle to profess your innocence, so be sure to consult with a top Stamford sex assault lawyer to help control the up-front damage to your reputation both online and offline. (Also know that you may have civil remedies such as a libel or slander lawsuit so be sure to discuss that with any of the best libel and slander lawyers in Connecticut).
So while those are just a few thoughts to consider immediately after a sexual assault / rape arrest in New Canaan or Darien Connecticut, an even more important consideration is the defense strategy you will take in fighting your Connecticut sexual assault arrest. Top Stamford criminal lawyers who have taken rape cases to trial know that one of the first tasks is preserving evidence that impeaches and attacks the credibility of your accuser. An accuser’s work emails, mental health records, personal emails, Facebook postings, text messages, and cell phone records all must be preserved right away. As the best Stamford Connecticut criminal lawyers know, you cannot get access to most of this information on demand—a court must order their preservation and disclosure. Motions must be made to the court showing good cause, as a court will be very concerned that your lawyer is just trying to harass an accuser. Surveillance videos and alibi evidence also needs to be retrieved. Especially in consent defense cases. So be sure to consult a top Stamford criminal lawyer as soon as you can to make sure you are taking all the right steps to build the best defense to your Stamford sex assault case.
So you don’t have to be a TV star like Bill Cosby to appreciate just how damaging a Connecticut rape accusation can be to your personal and professional life. As you can see from just the few thoughts above, a sex assault case has many moving parts that must be dealt with swiftly and aggressively by your Stamford criminal lawyer. The team of Stamford and Greenwich criminal lawyers at Mark Sherman Law have a combined 30 years of experience in defending Connecticut sex assault and rape cases. We have succeeded in convincing prosecutors and police to close sex assault investigations before anyone has been arrested. So the earlier you can get us involved, the better chance we can help you. Call us today at (203) 358-4700 for a consultation.