By Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal
Few topics get more visceral reactions than the mention of sex crimes and charges – particularly when they involve children.
I explain to jurors this is precisely what makes sexual abuse charges a Petri dish for injustice. They involve very graphic and horrific abuse, if true. There are highly emotional victims, witnesses, advocates, lawyers and even jurors trying to hash-out highly subjective claims, evidence, and psychology with life-altering consequences.
This is why sex abuse charges are in many ways the ‘wild west’ of criminal law.
Focusing on the Big Picture First
Today I’m starting a series of blogs about sexual abuse cases. In condensing everything so it makes sense, I’m finding major gulfs between some of the more technical and legal aspects of sexual abuse cases and the clinical, practical and/or advocacy related issues.
There are common threads, patterns and themes which are common to abuse cases which span different types of legal charges and allegations.
For this reason, I think it makes sense to dedicate a series of blogs to the technical and legal aspects of child sexual abuse and then to discuss some of the over-arching common denominators to all of them and finally how we deal with those from the defense’ point of view.
Breaking it Down Further
In sum – I’m going to break down sex abuse law and advocacy into three main categories so hopefully it makes more sense:
Einstein – or the highly technical or legal aspects of sex abuse law;
Motzart – the highly subjective aspects of the often malleable evidence, psychology, and social aspects of the charges; and
Rocky – how we fight and advocate against the odds.
Einstein (What the Books Say)
- Sexual Abuse Charges – Blog 2: Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child and “Super” Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child;
- Sexual Abuse Charges – Blog 3: Sexual Assault of a Child;
- Sexual Abuse Charges – Blog 4: Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child;
- Sexual Abuse Charges – Blog 5: Indecency With a Child by Contact;
- Sexual Abuse Charges – Blog 6: Indecency With a Child by Exposure;
- Sexual Abuse Charges – Blog 7: The Confrontation Clause;
- Sexual Abuse Charges – Blog 8: Double Jeopardy;
- Sexual Abuse Charges – Blog 9: Registration, Deferred Adjudication and Probation;
Motzart (The Subjectivity and Emotion)
- Sexual Abuse Charges – Blog 10: How Prosecutors Prosecute;
- Sexual Abuse Charges – Blog 11: The State’s Truth Detectors;
- Sexual Abuse Charges – Blog 12: Fistfights Over Evidence;
- Sexual Abuse Charges – Blog 13: There’s No Defense the State Hasn’t Heard;
Rocky (How We Fight)
- Sexual Abuse Charges – Blog 14: Courage;
- Sexual Abuse Charges – Blog 15: What Advantages does Defense Have?
- Sexual Abuse Charges – Blog 16: Areas of Defense Focus;
- Sexual Abuse Charges – Blog 17: Empowering the Jury to Stop an Injustice;
- Sexual Abuse Charges – Blog 18: Preparing for Punishment and Mitigation.
*Jeremy Rosenthal is certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is recognized as a Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters.