Case Results

Cobb County jury acquits client falsely accused of child molestation

State of Georgia v. A.T.

Our client was falsely accused of child molestation by an ex-girlfriend in the midst of a contentious custody battle. Fortunately, we were able to prove his innocence at trial.

Our client was falsely accused of molesting the daughter of his ex-girlfriend. In the years leading up to the allegation, our client and his ex had been engaged in a lengthy and contentious custody battle over their daughter. The molestation allegations in this case, made by the ex-girlfriend’s other daughter, were made immediately following a heated episode in the custody proceedings.

Over the years, the ex had tried to have our client arrested several times. Once for battery and twice for alleged thefts. These allegations were so petty that she even accused our client of stealing her salt and pepper shakers. She was also caught on video taking pictures of our client’s recycling bins in an effort to prove in the custody case that he drank too much.

Things were complicated as both of them were from different countries and frequently traveled internationally to visit relatives. They were both constantly worried that the other would take their daughter and leave the country. This molestation allegation arose right after they had a month-long dispute about who should retain possession of their daughter’s passport.

At the time of the allegation, the ex had been dating a reputed fraudster. This person lived in other states which the ex would frequently visit. We also had evidence of a forged marriage certificate the ex and her boyfriend had created.

There were numerous text messages that showed she was planning to take the kids and move away with this boyfriend. When our client learned of this, he obtained an emergency court order preventing her from leaving the State with their daughter. She and the boyfriend made several attempts to get our client to dismiss his custody case and let them move away, but he refused.

Prior to trial, we tried to convince the prosecutors to dismiss the case – pointing to what we believed was solid evidence that these allegations were influenced by the ex and her boyfriend. We argued that their motive was to get him out of the picture so they could finally move away together with the kids.

The prosecutors refused to dismiss the case and we went to trial. At trial, we were successful in bringing to light that the ex had a history of going to great lengths to manipulate her children and get them to lie for her.

We also pointed out obvious red flags in the child’s forensic interview. The girl was not able to give any contextual details that would be expected for a child who did, in fact, experience sexual abuse. When asked to tell more about how our client allegedly would come in her room and touch her, she responded with a simple, “Um, he basically put his hand there…and then that’s it I guess.” When the interviewer asked if his hand did anything, she responded, “No. He rubbed it I guess.”

The girl even mentioned in the interview the ongoing custody battle and several disputes our client and her mother had over the years. The detective failed to investigate any of this and had our client arrested a mere six hours later.

Fortunately, the jury was able to see these red flags and the obvious signs that this child had been influenced to make this false allegation. After only a couple hours of deliberations, they returned a verdict of not guilty on all counts.

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