What to Do If You’re Accused of Rape on a University Campus
Sexual assaults are a common occurrence on college campuses across the nation. And in the wake of each incident, university administrators and prosecutors are expected to find and punish the culprits. The problem is that most sexual assaults take place out of sight of witnesses, which makes the process of investigating and prosecuting these cases extremely difficult. Prosecutors generally show restraint in choosing whether to take action against a suspect, but administrators often take drastic action against suspected student offenders – even when the available evidence is thin.
Whether confronted with a college disciplinary process or prosecution from the district attorney, you should exercise your right to remain silent. Be mindful that what you say at a disciplinary hearing could make its way into the hands of prosecutors, and result in rape charges. For this reason, if you have been accused of rape on campus, you should not discuss the allegations with anyone, and retain the help of an attorney as soon as possible.
Remaining Silent is the Best Thing You Can Do for Your Case
College rape cases are particularly difficult, because the suspect often faces a battle on two fronts: one with the university, and the other with the state authorities. As a result of a disciplinary hearing with your school, you could lose your scholarships and get suspended. This is a difficult result, but it pales in comparison to the consequences of a North Carolina sexual assault conviction.
You should not attempt to defend yourself at a college disciplinary board hearing without the counsel of an experienced lawyer, because your statements could be used against you in criminal prosecution. Ideally, you should consult with an attorney who can defend you on both fronts. Don’t let the prospect of sanctions from your university blind you to the possibility of facing criminal prosecution.
Prosecutors understand that in order to obtain a conviction, they need good evidence. The testimony of an alleged victim is generally not enough evidence to bring a sexual assault case to trial. Generally, prosecutors will need corroborating statements from reliable witnesses, and more importantly, forensic evidence such as bodily fluid and hair found on the victim or their clothing.
We Can Defend You Against False Rape Accusations
It is possible for the prosecution to have significant evidence against you – even if you are innocent. This is usually the case when you have had consensual relations with the alleged victim, which they later characterized as non-consensual. These scenarios can be confusing. But it’s important for you to remain calm and to not make statements in your defense until you speak with an attorney. It may be possible for a lawyer to show that the sex was consensual by:
- Presenting text messages that suggest that you and the victim were in a consensual relationship
- Cross-examining the victim or otherwise discrediting their testimony
- Presenting testimony from people familiar with your relationship with the victim
You may also be prosecuted even when no sex occurred between you and the victim. Sometimes, the forensic analysis of samples collected from the victim after the assault can lead investigators astray. It is not uncommon for DNA tests to point to someone other than the actual perpetrator, especially when medical staff and lab personnel fail to follow proper protocols in collecting, labeling, storing, and analyzing samples.
Contact a Charlotte Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
At Randall & Stump, PLLC, we will thoroughly review all of the prosecutor’s evidence and determine ways of challenging it. Additionally, we may conduct our own investigation into the facts of your case. Finally, we will help you exercise your constitutional rights at every stage of the criminal justice process, and fight to get the best outcome possible under the circumstances.