After a week-long trial, a Gwinnett County jury acquitted our client of multiple counts of child molestation and aggravated sexual battery.
Our client was accused of child molestation by his stepdaughter on the eve of her mother’s and his 3rd wedding anniversary. The mother immediately kicked him out of the house and a protective order was issued against him. Shortly thereafter, he was arrested.
We immediately began investigating and uncovered evidence that indicated that the stepdaughter may have had a motive to make this allegation against our client. We also discovered that the girl was subjected to highly improper and suggestive questioning by the mother at the time the allegation was made. We believed that the combination of all of this influenced the girl to make this allegation.
The stepdaughter’s biological father had been accused of molesting a girl very close to her age and this was told to her just a few months before the allegation. Then the girl began to have nightmares about her father and was experiencing extreme anxiety. This was disclosed to numerous doctors in the weeks and days leading up to her allegation.
Just hours before the allegation was made, it was learned that the biological father was planning to take the stepdaughter to New York for Spring Break. It was believed by us that she then accused our client of child molestation to get out of having to go away with her father. This was then confirmed when a note was discovered that had been written by the girl to her mom just days after the allegation. The note read:
“Can we figure out something to do with dad, because I don’t want to see him, and I’m scared that since what [my stepfather] did, dad may do it because he’s more likely to.”
We had also learned that the mother had been a victim of molestation when she was young and that is what motivated her to aggressively question her daughter. She said to the investigators, “I had to get details because I understood from being a victim myself that the devil’s in the details.” She continued this questioning even after the police were investigating and told them, “I’m just trying to give you all the ammunition you need.”
Prior to trial, we retained Dr. Kamala London, one of the nation’s leading experts in child sexual abuse disclosures. Her review of the evidence confirmed our belief that the child had been repeatedly subjected to the type of suggestive questioning that has been found to cause false allegations. Her testimony at trial was essential to our ability to educate the jury about how children can be influenced and how that influence can cause them to say things that are not true. Dr. London also explained to the jury just how powerful this type of suggestion can be and how it can lead to the creation of false memories in the child.
After a week-long trial, the jury returned a not guilty verdict on all counts.
Categories | Child Molestation Cases,