Earlier this week, a Michigan woman plead no contest to charges that she made up and pursued false rape charges against two Michigan men. She went as far as to fake bruises using make-up. According to a report by the Star Tribune, the woman had also recently entered into a no contest plea in response to a fraud charge that alleged she fraudulently claimed to have cancer and accepted thousands of dollars in donations from generous donors.
The sentencing judge explained that it would be a “travesty of justice” to sentence her to less than 5 years because of the potential sentences that those she falsely accused could have faced had they been found guilty of rape. Technically, the woman was sentenced to 2 years for the false-rape charge and another 3 years for tampering with evidence (using the make-up to create fake bruises).
Proving Rape Charges in Michigan Courts
Part of the reason why this woman received such a stiff sentence for her false claims was because her actions could have had devastating effects on the lives of the two innocent men whom she accused. The sentencing judge was keenly aware of this when he made the following statement that “[t]his is a tormented and disturbed woman who will go to extraordinary lengths to wreak havoc upon other individuals, potentially subjecting them to life in prison in order to gain sympathy and notoriety for herself.”
False charges of sexual offenses, in particular, are especially heinous because of the likelihood that the charge could result in conviction. This is because often sexual abuse cases proceed to trial on thin evidence, sometimes only with testimony from the complaining witness. This means that the trial can turn into a “he said she said” type ordeal with potentially devastating consequences for the defendant.
Fighting Rape Charges in Michigan
As mentioned above, rape convictions can rest on pretty thin evidence in many cases. In part this is because jurors tend to have sympathy for rape victims and to have little sympathy for those accused of rape. In addition, the rules of evidence are stacked against the defendant accused of rape, allowing into evidence otherwise inadmissible evidence of past allegations and offenses.
If you have been charged with a sexual offense of any kind, the best thing to do is to secure the representation of a skilled Michigan criminal defense lawyer.
Have You Been Charged With a Sexual Offense in Michigan?
If you have been charged with a Michigan sexual offense, you should take the situation extremely seriously. In some cases, the punishments for a sexual offense can result in life in prison. As soon as possible, pick up the phone and call the Law Offices of Steven Schwartz to discuss the facts of your case. Attorney Schwartz is a preeminent Michigan criminal defense attorney and has the experience, passion, and dedication you need to effectively defend against any Michigan sexual offense charge. Call (248) 266-8720, or contact the firm online and speak to an experienced attorney today.