While rape is a serious offense, and a subject that shouldn’t be taken lightly, most of the allegations that we defend against are made by accusers who engaged in consensual sex with our clients.
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The allegations are made for a variety of reasons. Some are blatant lies, either to be vindictive, to cover up an affair, or to fend off embarrassment. Some of these accusers, however, honestly believe that they were raped, either as a result of being intoxicated or perhaps, from their perspective, they do not believe that they consented to sexual intercourse.
We have years of experience defending sex crime cases in Georgia and know exactly what evidence will be needed to refute the rape allegation and prove that the sex was consensual.
Rape is defined as the carnal knowledge of a woman, forcibly and against her will.
The statute defines carnal knowledge as “any penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ.” Under Georgia law, a person is not guilty of rape if he reasonably believed that the accuser consented to the sexual intercourse.
Therefore, our job is to gather every bit of evidence that exists that will prove that our client honestly believed the sex was consensual. This often includes text messages, emails, social media, pictures, videos, and statements from witnesses who either observed or spoke with the parties prior to or after the sexual encounter. It is critical that our clients not delete any communications, messages, pictures or videos that they exchanged with the accuser. If this evidence does get deleted, we can often retrieve it with the assistance of a computer forensics expert.
Georgia’s Rape Shield Statute provides some exceptions under which evidence of the alleged victim’s “past sexual history” may be admissible.
According to O.C.G.A. § 24-4-412(b), if the court determines that the past sexual behavior “directly involved the participation of the accused and finds that the evidence expected to be introduced supports an inference that the accused could have reasonably believed that the complaining witness consented to the conduct complained of in the prosecution,” then the evidence may be admitted.
Section (c) also permits the introduction of evidence that is “so highly material that it will substantially support a conclusion that the accused reasonably believed that the complaining witness consented to the conduct complained of” if the court finds that justice mandates the admission of such evidence. When determining the issue of consent, the Rape Shield Statute only requires a reasonable inference that the alleged victim consented to sexual relations with the accused. The courts recognize that certain behaviors or verbal exchanges between the parties can indicate consent.
Prior to trial, the defendant must file a written motion notifying the court of his intent to introduce evidence of the alleged victim’s past sexual behavior. This motion will prompt the court to conduct an in-camera hearing outside the presence of the jury in order to examine the defendant’s proffered evidence.
Let an experienced rape attorney explain how to best demonstrate that sex was consensual. Call (404) 577-9557 for a consultation.
I was falsely accused and arrested. With no one in my corner and my back against the wall, I had no choice but to find the best attorney in Georgia to clear me from these charges.