Ask anyone on the street the worst imaginable crime, and they will say child sex offenses. When I was at the University of Texas School of Law, I was fortunate to take Advanced Criminal Defense with a legendary Texas attorney named Dick DeGuerin. He asked the class on the first day: “Is there any offense you would not defend?” Most students replied, “child sex crimes.”
When I graduated from law school, I knew I wanted to be a criminal defense lawyer. That was my passion. I wanted to help people. I knew good people could be accused of bad things.
Dick DeGuerin hired me and that is how I started my career. I worked with him for over 12 years before opening my own law firm. We still share cases today.
I will never forget the first case I was assigned at his office. The State of Texas v. B.F. He was a young father and police officer. He had two beautiful young children. Life was great. But then his world was turned upside down when a teenager accused him of sexually abusing her in the mid-1990s.
B.F. went to trial at a time in the 1990s when child sex abuse hysteria was at its zenith. Almost no one believed children lied about sexual abuse. They presumed someone accused of such a horrific crime must be guilty. The jury convicted him and sentenced him to LIFE in prison.
B.F. then hired us to review his case. As I dug into the file, I learned that the entire prosecution rested almost solely on just the complainant’s word. What’s more, the prosecutor after B.F.’s trial admitted the complainant had lied and said someone else had sexually abused her.
We eventually obtained relief for B.F. in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (the State’s highest criminal court) and he received a new trial. It was not easy. The State fought us every step of the way.
Even with a new trial, the State of Texas did not back down. They were determined to re-try B.F. and send him back to prison. We went to trial and he was promptly found not guilty. The jury deliberated less than an hour and hugged him after his acquittal. Today, he is free.
I know false allegations are made. I’ve witnessed them first-hand many times. I’ve handled innumerable adult and child sex abuse cases. Many were not filed or were dismissed because I was able to show the allegations were false. False allegations are a reality, and they are not uncommon. If anyone thinks children don’t lie about sexual abuse, they’re seriously mistaken. Just ask B.F.
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